Will Canada be known for another kind of leaf - other than its iconic maple?
Officials said Canadians should be able to smoke marijuana legally by July 1, 2018. In many cases, it is easier for our children to get cannabis than it is to get cigarettes.
Mayor Greg Dionne said the city has been preparing for the move, but he points out that there's still a long way to go before council will need to craft its own policy.
"Criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities", Blair said, according to the New York Times. Research done for Ottawa indicated the illicit marijuana market generates an estimated 7 billion Canadian dollars ($5.26 billion) a year for criminal organizations.
"We will have common challenges on issues like health and prevention and security, especially when it comes to road and workplace safety", Quebec Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said earlier this week.
Marijuana for medical purposes is already legal but annual sales of recreational marijuana could be as high as £5.2bn. However, the government has allowed the provinces to set a higher age limit if they wish to do so. "It is not a free for all", he said during a news conference after the bills were tabled.
The legislation put forward on Thursday by the ruling Liberal party, which made legalising recreational marijuana part of its successful 2015 election campaign, would set the minimum legal age for use and purchase at 18.
But the federal task force recommended marijuana not be sold with alcohol.
"I want to highlight", Goodale said, "that under the proposed act, it will remain illegal to import into Canada or export from Canada, cannabis and cannabis products- unless exceptionally authorized by Health Canada". "It's not an absolute guarantee that kids won't get access to it, but it will be far more hard for kids to get access to it when this new regime is in place than it is today".
"The bills we propose today are aiming at putting drug dealers and organized crime out of the cannabis business", said Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
New laws would also increase the penalty for people who sell to the under-aged, as well as create a new offence for people "exploiting children in the trafficking of cannabis". "Additionally, the proposed legislation would authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their body", reads the press release. A positive test could result to more testing including a blood test.
According to a statement issued by Health Canada, "the movement of cannabis and cannabis products across worldwide borders would remain a serious criminal offence".
The legislation to legalize cannabis is reported to be coming on Thursday of this week, providing Canadians with a better idea of how the national system will operate.
Now see if United States President Donald Trump doesn't have to build another border wall just to keep people in.