Canada becomes second country to legalise recreational marijuana: will Britain be next?

  • Cannabis becomes second country to legalise 'weed', following Uruguay
  • Legalisation fulfils a 2015 campaign promise made by PM Justin Trudeau
  • Opinion divided on whether UK should follow suit

The first recreational cannabis was legally purchased on the Eastern Island of Newfoundland in Canada at midnight on Wednesday. 

Hundreds queued in the hope they could be a part of history. 

Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.  

Legalisation in Canada fulfils a 2015 campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leader of the governing Liberal Party.

 The move sparked further debate in the UK about whether the country should do the same, with mixed reations from people the Northern Quota spoke to

Garduate John-Paul Stuthridge, 22, said: “Legalising a drug doesn’t make it any safer or reduce its intake, quite the contrary.”

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“The psychotropic effects of cannabis are still unknown and existing correlations between those and mental illness is worrying.”

Under the new rules in Canada, adults will be able to have possession of up to 30 grams (one ounce) of dried cannabis in public.

Jacqueline Cook, a 34-year-old entertainer, has a similar line of thought, saying: “It turns people into mindless zombies.

“People say it’s a plant and it’s natural, so it’s safe. There could be poisonous berries in your back yard which are natural, doesn’t mean you should consume it.”

The federal government in Canada predicts that legalisation will raise $400m a year in tax revenues on the sale of cannabis.

Admin manager Catherine Hodson, 54, said: “I believe it should only be legalised for medicinal reasons under very strict conditions.

“They say it isn’t really a gateway to other drugs but I think you’re more likely to try others when smoking cannabis”.

Canada has followed the footsteps of Uruguay, which became the first country to legalise recreational use of marijuana in 2013. Portugal and the Netherlands have also decriminalised the drug.

Nine US states have legalised recreational marijuana use .

Traffic officer Alex Haines said: “Just because alcohol and cigarettes are legal doesn’t mean they are good for you but people use them every day. Teaching and education about being responsible with subtances is the most important thing.”