O Canada! The Great White North Legalized Marijuana Today

A cash register is adorned with a Canadian flag and imitation marijuana leaves at the BC Marijuana Party Headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010. Vancouver is in the marijuana-friendly corner of Canada, and it's hard to miss. Hastings Street alone has several stores that sell marijuana seeds, and the BC Marijuana Party Headquarters is a veritable weed smoker's den. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Americans like to think of Canada as our more socially “advanced” neighbors. However, many might be surprised to know that recreational marijuana use is illegal in the Great White North.


That is, until today.

This Wednesday marijuana use became legal across the entire nation of Canada, a promise Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made to Canadians from the beginning of his political campaign to lead the country.

Canada is technically a “limited monarchy” as far as it’s governing process. A federal mandate changes the laws for every province and territory thus making weed legal across the entire country. However, there will be some differences from province to province depending on how each area governs things like tobacco and alcohol. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation created a website tool to help people see the differences between provinces. Here are a couple of examples.


The CBC says while the minutiae may differ region to region, some things will be the same across the board particularly when it comes to online sales.

There is one constant across the country: Online sales are available in all provinces and territories, whether via private retailers or through government-run websites. E-commerce giant Shopify, which will manage online sales for four provinces, is confident its system will be able to handle the volume.

But there are distinctions across the county with respect to age limits and retail models. Minimum age limits for purchasing and consuming cannabis vary, but most provinces mirror their rules for alcohol.


In addition, Prime Minister Trudeau has said he will begin pardoning Canadians who have past convictions on “simple possession” charges for marijuana use.

Just in case you were thinking of taking a quick trip up North, be sure to brush up on the travel rules for marijuana. Basically, you can enjoy it while you’re there but you can’t take it with you when you go.



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