YES! Finally, we made it!
After months and months of discussions, different news stories and continued uncertainty of when we could finally expect the legalization of Marijuana in Canada, and more importantly in Quebec, the day is finally here!
As of this morning, Quebec officials voted on Bill 157, a law making pot a government-owned and operated business - and it passed by a narrow vote, too!
This morning (June 12th), a vote was held in Quebec to give the final approval on Bill 157, and it passed. Though, it was a tight race.
This is very much in thanks to Premier Philippe Couillard's Liberals, who hold a majority in the National Assembly. Though Quebec is seen to be very liberal, at its core our leaders are quite conservative.
Here's how the vote on Bill 157 went down:
- Bill-C-45 has passed a vote in the Commons, was sent to senate, who sent an amended version back last week.
- This morning a vote was held on Quebec's bill 157
The opposition Parti Québécois and Coalition Avenir Québec voted against the law, while Québec Solidaire voted in favour.
- Bill 157 in Quebec will be passed into law by a vote of 61 for, and 46 against
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) believes the legal age to possess and consume pot should be 21, and not be 18 as the law states. As they had announced previously, this is why they did not vote in favor on bill 157.
The CAQ intends to re-open the bill to increase the age on consumption if they form a government on Oct. 1. Moral of this statement, go out and VOTE, kids!
Two Québec solidaire MNAs, Amir Khadir, and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois voted with the government.
The Liberal majority in Quebec made sure adoption of the bill is now officially on the books, and it is ready to begin the moment Ottawa finishes its own legislative process on the Canadian-wide Bill C-45 - but as a province, we made it, we did it, its done!
The process of this vote has been tiring. There had been 138 amendments to the bill, that held 197 articles.
The ultimate goal in Quebec is to remove as much of the cannabis business from organized crime as possible, and the regulate consumption - especially for youth.
Leaders have said that the bill as it currently stands is far from perfect, and will be reviewed entirely in 3 years.
A bigger chunk of bill 157 covers the creation of the Société québécoise du cannabis or SQDC, that will manage the sales of pot in outlets across the province.
In Quebec, the law for legal Marijuana is as follows:
- the legal age to consume weed will be 18 years of age
- the maximum purchase anyone can make at one time is 30 grams
- any person will not be able to have more than 150 grams in their home at any one time
- Quebec's bill 157 does not allow Canadians to grow in their home as it does in Ottawa's bill
- consumption is permitted in public, but municipalities are free to impose their own restrictions
Several cities have come forward to say that they will not allow public consumption, so we really are just beginning this battle to reserve our right to smoke weed when we choose to.
However, this is a very exciting time for Quebec and Canada - and it's finally, finally confirmed!
The final date it becomes legal in Quebec is still dependant on Ottawa finishing up their vote on Bill C-45, but that will happen very, very soon.
In Quebec, we have about 15 retailers ready to go as soon as the Ottawa gets it together.