- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Canada should allow adults over the age of 18 to buy, grow and possess limited amounts of marijuana, a federal task force told lawmakers in Ottawa Tuesday.

The recommendation is among more than 80 contained in a non-binding report made public this week as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau look to uphold a campaign promise that would make Canada the second developed nation in the world to end recreational marijuana prohibition.

Mr. Trudeau, a member of Canada’s Liberal Party, has indicated that a legal recreational weed program could be implemented as early as the spring. With similar efforts few and far between, however, first he asked a group of experts to determine exactly what rules and restrictions should be put in place if and when Canada moves forward with its plans to legalize pot.

Led by Anne McLellan, a former cabinet minister and fellow Liberal, the task force presented Mr. Trudeau’s administration with a laundry list of recommendations Tuesday related to the potential pot program.

“Now is the time to move away from a system that has, for decades, been focused on the prohibition of cannabis into a regulated legal market,” Ms. McLellan said at a news conference Tuesday, CBC reported.

That system, as suggested, would allow adults over the age of 18 to grow up to four marijuana plants at a time and possess a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis.

With respect to retail sales, the task force said Canada should allow certain shops to sell weed, albeit with restrictions. The experts advised against allowing businesses to sell both marijuana and alcohol at the same time, and suggested that pot be taxed according to its potency.

Ms. McLellan said the task group traveled south of the border to examine the existing recreational marijuana programs Colorado and Washington state, and spoke with representatives from Uruguay, the only other developed nation to legalize weed.

“We’ve been told by those who’ve gone before to expect surprises,” she said at Tuesday’s briefing.

Canada approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 2001, and currently lets 36 federally-licensed producers harvest pot for patients.

While marijuana remains illegal in the U.S., federally speaking, the Justice Department under President Obama has largely elected not to interfere in the growing number of states where voters have passed legislation allowing for medical and recreational use.

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