Canada to pardon small possession convictions as it legalises marijuana

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Canada legalized recreational marijuana today, which is a cause for cannabis lovers everywhere to celebrate.

The Canadian government is ready to pardon those with a pot possession record of 30 grams or less after Canada becomes the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace Wednesday.

Even though cannabis is legal within Canada, it's illegal to bring it into the country, even if you're traveling from one of the US states where it's legal as well. "It is extremely unwise and illegal to attempt to bring any marijuana or marijuana products back across the border with you, whether you are returning to a state with legalization or not".

Members of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada, Air We Share and Airspace Action on Smoking and Health tried to share the message from the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Wednesday. It is up to the border agent's discretion.

In the U.S., recreational cannabis has been legalised in eight states, while countries such as the Netherlands and Spain have decriminalised pot possession. MI and North Dakota are the only states this year deciding on the legalization of recreational marijuana this November election.

As Canada makes history with its nationwide legalization of cannabis, some observers in the United States are watching with a sense of cautious optimism; in the hopes that their northern neighbor's actions might end up having a positive impact on America's cannabis legalization movement.

Why did Canada legalize marijuana?

The change raises questions for USA travelers eager to hightail it across the border and light one up.

"The price point is a little higher", said recreational marijuana customer Neil, who didn't want to give his last name.

Canada ended its 95-year prohibition on recreational cannabis at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday - a landmark law that made headlines around the world - but Ontario residents can only legally buy the drug through a government-run online service, the Ontario Cannabis Store, until bricks-and-mortar dispensaries open in April. "You're better off sticking with the domestic product".

Others, however, are sounding the alarm.

Only five Guelph officers have been trained as drug recognition experts, DeRuyter said, adding "that's something we're going to have to continue to build on".

Marijuana remains illegal in the the federal level.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended legalisation - the fulfilment of a 2015 campaign promise - as meant to protect young people and to shut down drug dealers. Trudeau believes legalizing marijuana will regulate the supply and help to keep marijuana out of the reach of children, and to keep profits away from organized global crimes. "I never thought in my lifetime that I'd see this".

Who's betting on Canadian marijuana?

Blain Lawson, CEO of the distribution branch, said the store's frosted windows meet a Health Canada regulation that prohibits product being visible from the street. Over 100 people braved the cold and wind in the province's capital St. John's, lining up outside a Tweed-branded store owned by Canopy Growth Corp., the world's most recognised cannabis producer.

Other customers were hopeful it was the start of a movement that will sweep nations worldwide.