Legalized recreational cannabis in Canada is one step closer to fruition after the House of Commons voted 205 to 82 in favour of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, on Monday, June 18.
The bill has now gone back to the Senate for further discussion. Some debate had already taken place on Monday evening.
The Senate had previously recommended 46 amendments to the bill, many of which were rejected by the House.
If both houses can agree on a version of the bill, then it will receive royal assent and become law.
Conservative MPs were largely opposed to the bill, with many pointing to concerns over rules around cultivating cannabis in one’s home.
The federal government has insisted that provinces allow individuals to grow up to four cannabis plants at home, and rejected an amendment that would affirm the province’s right to prohibit them.
Liberal MP Bill Blair acknowledged the Senate’s “comprehensive and important work,” and stated that the government’s current policy of prohibition doesn’t work.
“It is only by ending the prohibition, which is what legalization is, that we are able to implement a comprehensive and far more effective system of strict regulatory control,” he said.
Senate debate on the bill will continue on Tuesday.