The most controversial thing about Canada’s move to legalize marijuana nationwide may be setting the minimum age for use at 18—three years lower than in U.S. states that have embraced legalization—a move that is being closely watched across the continent.
Advocates for the measure, expected to pass Parliament next year, say putting the limit at 21 would encourage a black market and drive youths into the hands of criminals.
“Taking this business away from them I think is an obligation,” said former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to Canada’s justice minister and the man in charge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to legalize.
The task force that drafted the measure reported that experts said “that setting the minimum age too high risked preserving the illicit market, particularly since the highest rates of use are in the 18 to 24 age range.”
Source: Cannabis Business Times