Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott gave Canadians a special present on 420 by announcing that legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use would be introduced in spring 2017. Philpott made the announcement at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session On Narcotic Drugs (UNGASS).
The announcement was hailed and somewhat criticized by activists and advocates on Twitter. Here's a sampling of the best reactions.
1. Joy...so much joy
Members of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) who attended UNGASS struggled to contain their enthusiasm for the announcement.
2. Pride in being Canadian
The UBC Okanagan Chair of (CSSDP) was also overwhelmed with national pride.
3. Celebrating Canada's role in history
4. Pleasant surprise
Kirk Tousaw - one of the lawyers fighting for the rights of Canadian medical marijuana patients to grow their medicine at home - was pleasantly surprised by the timeline for legalization.
If true Spring 2017 is actually quicker than I expected to see legalization happen. Now let’s hope they do it well. https://t.co/pj3x4W8eWy— KirkTousaw (@KirkTousaw) April 20, 2016
Not everyone praised the announcement. Sam Vekemans, who introduced a petition calling on the government to decriminalize cannabis immediately and remove it from the list of banned substances in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).
Longtime activist Jodie Emery was happy with the news, but she was also mindful of the many Canadians who could still face jail time over the next year