Recreational Marijuana Now Legal in Canada

Recreational marijuana became legal in Canada on Wednesday and while many welcome the move, others have serious concerns.

An editorial published Monday by the Canadian Medical Association Journal called legalization an "uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians," The New York Times reported.

The journal called on the government to promise to change the law if it results in increased marijuana use.

"Legalization of cannabis is the largest public policy shift this country has experienced in the past five decades," said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety in the province of British Columbia, The Times reported.

"It's an octopus with many tentacles, and there are many unknowns. I don't think that when the federal government decided to legalize marijuana, it thought through all of the implications," Farnworth said.

Canada is the second country in the world, after Uruguay, and the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana use. Consumers will be able to buy pre-rolled joints, fresh or dried marijuana, and cannabis oil from government-regulated sellers, The Times reported.

Last year, 4.9 million Canadians used cannabis and consumed more than 20 grams of marijuana per person, according to Statistics Canada.

"The fact that we are moving away from a Prohibition model is a victory for human rights and social justice, an economic windfall for the Canadian economy and a sign of social progress," said Adam Greenblatt, a director at Canopy Growth, a major cannabis producer, The Times reported.

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