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Tempo Social

versão impressa ISSN 0103-2070versão On-line ISSN 1809-4554


BEAUCHESNE, Line. Political Challenges to legalizing cannabis in Canada. Tempo soc. [online]. 2017, vol.29, n.2, pp.15-44. ISSN 1809-4554.

On October 19th, 2015, the Liberal government of Canada, which was elected with a majority, had in its election promises the legalization of cannabis. He will follow through with this promise. A discussion paper was issued in June 2016 setting the stage for the Working Group on Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis, which issued its Report on November 30th 2016. This Report, the Government explained, will be one of the tools to develop its legislative framework and will serve as a basis for discussions with Provinces and Territories, as well as experts who will have to manage this regulatory framework. In this article, we will see the main political challenges facing the Government in these discussions with the Provinces and Territories, as well as experts, considering the questions posed on the five aspects of regulation in the Discussion Paper. To identify these challenges, in addition to the lessons learned from the studies regarding the situation in Colorado and Washington, will be grafted the learning of the studies on the current management of legal drugs. Firstly, the challenges related to the very arrival of this law are outlined. Subsequently, the challenges related to the public health objective, the production, processing and distribution system, the regulatory framework, and the more specific issue of cannabis for therapeutic purposes will be exposed. We will see why the application of this law will be complex, costly and can easily deviate from the original objectives. Short- and long-term monitoring will be required to ensure that the various levels of government retain the primacy of public health and consider the use of criminal justice as a last resort.

Palavras-chave : Cannabis; Legalization; Drug; Public health.

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