It’s been years in the making, but Canada has finally officially legalized marijuana sales and use for recreational purposes, becoming just the second country on the planet to do so. The new laws, which went into effect overnight, allow adults over the age of 18 to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana for their own personal use, and they can also share it with whoever they want as long as that person is also of age.
Just a handful of retail locations are up and running on day one, though medical marijuana has been approved for sale in Canada for some time.
The law doesn’t just cover marijuana possession, however, as citizens will now be totally within their rights to grow their own pot for personal use. Individuals can cultivate up to four cannabis plants in their homes if they choose, and use that marijuana for themselves to avoid paying retail prices.
Selling, of course, is being more strictly regulated, and the country has been careful to modify existing intoxication laws to include marijuana intoxication as well. Getting pulled over while high as a kite is still going to land you in some trouble, as it obviously should.
Along with the legalization, Canada plans to revisit a long list of past marijuana possession convictions. The country plans to pardon individuals who were convicted of crimes that would now have been perfectly legal, such as the possession and cultivation of cannabis.
Canada might sound like even more of a wonderland for cannabis fans than it already was, but there are still some very real limitations. You can’t travel from Canada with marijuana on your person or in your luggage. As CNN notes, even if you happen to be headed to a location where marijuana is legal, like Colorado, it’s a no-go.
If things go well in Canada — lots of tax money flowing in, far fewer drug convictions, and a spike in Taco Bell sales — it could serve as an example of how other countries can move forward with their own legalization efforts.