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The final report of the Canadian Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, issued on November 30th 2016, is the product of broad consultations within the Canadian society.

Click the image below to download the report:

Impulsed from the ministers of Health, Justice and Public Safety, the Task Force started its work in June 2016, consulting the provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous governments, and numerous civil society stakeholders (youth, patients, NGOs, academics and experts in relevant fields).

The report addresses the issues on the basis of 5 mail pillars:

  • Minimizing Harms of Use;
  • Establishing a Safe and Responsible Supply Chain;
  • Enforcing Public Safety and Protection;
  • Medical Access;
  • and a final chapter focused on Implementation.

Members of the Task Force (from left to right): R. Souccar, P. Kendall, C. Zahn, A. McLellan, M. Jesso, M. Ware, S. Boyd, B. von Tigerstrom and G. Chow

Speech of the Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpot at UNGASS 2016.

In December 2015, then during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the ‘world drug problem’ (UNGASS 2016) in April 2016, the Government of Canada reaffirmed its commitment to “legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana”. A commitment has been made to create a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial sales taxes applied, both to prevent youth from accessing marijuana and to curtail the illegal marijuana market that is benefitting organized crime. A commitment was also made to punish more severely those who provide marijuana to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.

To inform the design of a new system, engagement with provinces and territories, as well as key experts, is essential. To carry out this work, the Ministers of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Health created a Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation, which work has been guided by the following federal objectives:

  • Protect young Canadians by keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and youth.
  • Keep profits out of the hands of criminals, particularly organized crime.
  • Reduce the burdens on police and the justice system associated with simple possession of marijuana offences.
  • Prevent Canadians from entering the criminal justice system and receiving criminal records for simple possession of marijuana offences.
  • Protect public health and safety by strengthening, where appropriate, laws and enforcement measures that deter and punish more serious marijuana offences, particularly selling and distributing to children and youth, selling outside of the regulatory framework, and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
  • Ensure Canadians are well-informed through sustained and appropriate public health campaigns, and for youth in particular, ensure that risks are understood.
  • Establish and enforce a system of strict production, distribution and sales, taking a public health approach, with regulation of quality and safety (e.g., child-proof packaging, warning labels), restriction of access, and application of taxes, with programmatic support for addiction treatment, mental health support and education programs.
  • Continue to provide access to quality-controlled marijuana for medical purposes consistent with federal policy and Court decisions.
  • Conduct ongoing data collection, including gathering baseline data, to monitor the impact of the new framework.