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Canada has introduced a bill to legalise recreational marijuana use by next year, which would make it the first G7 country to do so.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party aims for all Canadians over the age of 18 to be able to buy marijuana by July 2018. Under the plan announced on Thursday, the federal government would license marijuana producers, leaving provinces to decide how to sell and distribute it. The bill also aims to make it tougher for young Canadians to access cannabis, criminalising the sale of marijuana to a minor.
Mr Trudeau has advocated legalisation of marjijuana since his election campaign in 2015. “Our focus is on protecting kids and protecting our streets,” he said last summer, promoting regulation of the industry to combat illicit marijuana trade.
The long-awaited legislation is supported across Canada’s political parties and is expected to be approved by parliament. Analysts have projected Canada’s budding marjiuana industry could be worth up to C$7bn.