Counting Canada, More Than 100 Million People Live in Places Where Pot Is Legal

Licensed recreational sales are expected to begin in late August or early September.



Yesterday the Canadian Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill that had already passed the House of Commons, which means Canada is about to become the second country and the 12th jurisdiction to officially allow recreational use of the plant. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, which had expected legal recreational sales to begin on July 1, now says late August or early September looks more likely because the provinces and territories will need eight to 12 weeks to prepare.

Canada, with a population of about 37 million, is the second most populous jurisdiction (after California) to legalize marijuana so far. It is more than 10 times as populous as Uruguay, the only other country where the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana has been legalized at the national level. (The Netherlands has a longstanding policy of tolerating marijuana use and retail sales, but the drug is still technically illegal there.) All told, more than 100 million people, including one in five Americans, live in the jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana for recreational use.


Canada's law allows possession of up to 30 grams (about an ounce) by adults 18 and older, who also may share that amount with other adults and grow up to four plants at home. Those provisions will take effect on a date that the government plans to announce soon.

The federal government is imposing a marijuana excise tax of $1 (Canadian) per gram or 10 percent of the sale price, whichever is higher. The law does not cover edibles, so the options for recreational consumers will initially be limited to flowers and oils.

Provincial and territorial governments have considerable leeway in regulating the newly legal cannabis industry. Some provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba, plan to license private retailers, while others, such as Ontario and Quebec, will sell marijuana through the same government-run system that distributes liquor. In some jurisdictions, such as Alberta and Nova Scotia, cannabis will be sold in the same stores that carry alcoholic beverages, while in others, such as Quebec and British Columbia, the two kinds of products will be sold separately.

Alberta and Quebec, where the drinking age is 18, are setting the same cutoff for cannabis. In the other provinces and territories it will be 19, which is the minimum alcohol purchase age in all those jurisdictions except for Manitoba. By comparison, the minimum consumption age for marijuana in all the U.S. states that have legalized recreational use is 21, corresponding to the higher drinking age.

Update: Trudeau said on Wednesday that the new law, including the provisions legalizing possession and home cultivation, will not take effect until October 17.

NEXT: Congress Wants To Give Jeff Sessions Unprecedented New Drug War Powers

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  1. And now we will ban millions of Canadians from entering the US.


    1. Actually, the Canadians are more likely to ban American immigration. The Canadians have a much more harsh immigration policy than the US. I fear that people don’t realize how ignorant they are about the rest of the world

        1. Just say you love “Rush” and you’re golden

      1. Canada is going to have gone from a country that had a 98% European-descended population in the 1960s to one that is less than 50% by 2036. So in just over 70 years time, the population that founded and built the country will be a minority in their own country. That’s not very harsh on immigration. That’s just rubber-stamping every vagrant who wants in.

  2. Counting Canada, More Than 100 Million People Live in Places Where Pot Is Legal

    Not counting Canada, it’s still right around 100 million.

  3. I just came from Amsterdam (you know what I like about Europe? The little differences) where I got into a discussion about the legality of marijuana in that country and it’s quite a bit different than how I thought it was.

    I thought marijuana was legal in Holland, full stop.

    It’s legal to possess and use.
    It’s legal to grow a few plants.
    It’s legal to sell it in small quantities (that amount was vague).

    It’s illegal to import it into the country.
    It’s illegal to grow it in large quantities.
    The quantities that the legal “coffee shops”* sell is actually illegal, but it’s not really enforced.

    Occasionally, there are high-profile drug busts with major growers going to jail. It’s presumed, but not entirely clear that these may be the people supplying the coffee shops (in concert with illegal importation).

    *In the Netherlands, a “coffee shop” sells marijuana. A “cafe” is where you get coffee.

    1. I just came from Amsterdam (you know what I like about Europe? The little differences)

      What do they call a Quarter Pounder in France?

  4. Canada abolished slavery 30 years before the U.S…. how long do you think the U.S. will take this time?

    1. Canada also reinstituted slavery five years later than the U.S. did.

      1. Nice.

    2. We have to be distracted by screaming immigrants kids instead of actually rolling back government in the USA.

      1. It’s fascinating to me that you don’t see a massive border police force as being related to the size of government.

        1. Are you referring to the Canadians or Americans?

          1. Both have massive governments, so apply freely.

            1. Agreed that immigration enforcement forces are part of a bigger government.

            2. The population of Canada is the border force, seeing that 99% of them are suspiciously amassed on the American border.

        2. If we stopped having people invade and attack the USA, we could cut the border patrol and US military.

          We need courts too just not as much court bloat as we have.

        3. Plenty of government to roll back first before touching national defense and border security.

          1. LC, you will be glad to hear that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (affectionately referred to here as “too tall Deval”), a RINO’s RINO, has nominated a tenants rights / socialist attorney to the Massachusetts Housing Court.

            I once represented a gentleman who could not get his son-in-law and the son-in-law’s mother to voluntarily leave a house for which my client had paid and was titled in his name. He had let his daughter and son-in-law live there, gratis, except for the utilities. Subsequently, my client’s daughter and the son-in-law parted ways and she filed for divorce. He was such a jerk, she left the house, after which the son-in-law refused to pay for the utilities.

            Then, I am retained to evict the son-in-law and his mother. The son-in-law has his divorce attorney represent him in the eviction action and his mother is represented by the tenants rights zealot who Charlie Baker has nominated for a Housing Court judgeship.

            This woman was bat shit irrational. She insisted that her client be able to stay at the house, for a year, without paying any rent or utilities. She also sought to dismiss the eviction action against her client upon the basis that the Housing court did not have jurisdiction over her client and that the matter should be decided by the judge presiding over her son’s divorce case.

            Thankfully, the Housing court judge shot that down.

            But, Charlie Baker, WTF?

  5. Canada’s law allows possession of up to 30 grams (about an ounce) by adults 18 and older, who also may share that amount with other adults and grow up to four plants at home.

    Great. Glad there is still enough room in the law to fuck over people if the state feels like prosecuting.

    What an absurd fucking restriction. Not that it’s unique to Canada. But it will always be weird to me when you have a law that’s basically, “It’s legal, unless you have too much.” The logic of that is absurd.

    1. Careful, BUCS. It’s starting to look like you don’t think there’s a place for government in every individual’s personal decisions.

    2. Still better than the 0 grams allowed for adults in most states

    3. Taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes UsedCars. It’s the same reason you can make a couple of barrels of beer or wine at home, but the moment you approach saleable volume you’re in trouble.

      1. I can buy all the cases of beer I want, stack the up in the garage, no problem.

  6. Keep begging government to make pot legal again.

    Yup. Weed used to be perfectly legal until government got involved.

    In the USA, government cannot constitutionally ban products and services without a constitutional amendment. The Prohibitionists knew this which is why they passed the 18th Amendment to ban alcohol.

    Bans don’t work which is why the 18th was repealed by the 21st Amendment.

  7. Maybe Canada can take in 100 million immigrants to up that number of people living where pot is legal.

  8. FYI- Canada has far stricter immigration and refugee policies than the United States, so I’m sorry, but he is not the woketarian savior

  9. Has Canada yet explained how they’re going to handle the treaties they’ll be violating by legalizing? Last time I checked (late March of this year), the government of Hereditary Prime Minister Feckless Idiot was still refusing to deal with the issue.

    Me, I can hardly wait for the first Alien Tort Statute cases to be filed by private persons in US courts against Canada over every real and imagined harm of legalization.

    1. Probably the same way everyone else has. By ignoring it.

      1. The “everybody else” ignoring the treaties on the level of the political unit that actually joined the treaties actually legalizing is “Uruguay, and kinda-sorta Spain”.

        I expect American drug warriors would have a bit more interest in backing big, showy, attention-grabbing lawsuits against neighboring, English-speaking Canada than attempting to get the same publicity from a suit against a place most Americans know (if at all) from a joke in the classic Australia episode of “The Simpsons”.

        Further, it’d be a heck of a lot easier to recruit plaintiffs for a US court from neighboring, English-speaking, hundreds-of-thousands-of-Americans-in, hundreds-of-thousands of-citizens-in-America Canada.

        But, hey, maybe Hereditary Prime Minister Feckless Idiot will be luckier than I expect.

  10. And every single one of them is now a crackhead and heroin junkie. That’s how it works.

    1. It’s the gateway drug. Just say no.

  11. Since no one reads articles here either, does anyone know how Jacob counts places where ‘marijuana is legal’, but the possession, trade, buying, selling, growing, baking, and smoking etc are restricted?
    I say that if it is legal, I can buy or sell it. I can carry enough to get me through a rough week of vacation. The various fees and taxes and other government imposed costs need to leave the final cost as low as it was on the black market. And so forth.

    1. Massachusetts voters passed a referendum legalizing weed in 2016, under the terms of which only licensed dispensaries could sell marijuana.

      As of today, still no dispensaries – some 19 1/2 months after the vote.

      Maybe this explains why Sparky has been particularly misanthropic lately.

    2. I say that if it is legal […] the final cost as low as it was on the black market.

      So cigarettes aren’t legal?

      I mean, if that’s your operating definition, then go for it, but you pretty much defined yourself out of any reasonable conversation.

  12. I don’t understand the restrictions that go along with it.

    Canada legalized pot… but only in small quantities? And you can grow it, but only 4 plants?

    What is the point of these restrictions? If it is legal now, then there’s no reason to worry about evil drug dealers selling an illegal drug. It is, you know, legal now. So …. what is the point?

    Did the drug dealer lobby get to someone? That’s the only plausible solution…. that drug dealers are pushing the legislature to maintain the black market so that they can maintain their control and margins.

    Otherwise, what is the motivation to enact these restrictions?

    1. Personal use vs. wholesale.

      1. That doesn’t answer what the motivation is to enact the restrictions.

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  14. In Canada we have 10, no 11, no sorry, 10 provinces and 2-3 territories. And each has it’s own special way of interpreting ‘federal’ law WRT to pot. IOW, yes you can buy it at Al’s Dope in some provinces, from the govt only in others and grow some in for personal use in some but not all provinces and territories. Ontario, for eg, with ~13M Ontarians, will have 150 ‘pot shops’ some time soon when pot really becomes legal. Govt thinking at it’s finest.

    Dope will be legal here Oct 17 2018. Where I live it is for all intents and purpose legal and there are multiple dope shops down the street.

    The only thing interesting about this whole non-event is how the stoned driving laws will be written and applied.

    1. Not sure how it works in the deep cold of the frozen north, but in the states, it is ‘impaired’ driving. So it does not matter if the impairment comes from Al Cohol, or Mary Jane, or even prescription drugs. Same law, same fair enforcement regardless of socio-economic statis.

  15. Well I guess eyebrows has done the one useful thing he will probably do for his country. Good for Canadia!

  16. I just thought up another question.
    Why don’t states have to recognize medical usage permits from other states? How is it different from driver or marriage licenses?
    (don’t get me started on carry permits)

    1. Because Drugs!

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