Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

The Senate has given approval in principle to the Trudeau government’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

Bill C-45 passed at second reading this evening by a vote of 44-29.

The approval comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded the senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize recreational marijuana.

That was seen as a subtle warning that they should not attempt to thwart the will of Canadians or the government they elected.

The uncertainty was triggered by Conservative senators, who were hoping to deliver a double-barrelled embarrassment to Trudeau: upending one of his signature election promises, while demonstrating the folly of his efforts to reform the Senate into a less partisan, more independent chamber.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau said the criminal cannabis regime has not protected Canadian children, who are among the highest under-age users of marijuana in developed countries, and has put up to $7 billion every year in the pockets of organized crime.

Ordinarily, a second reading vote is not a big hurdle and is dispensed with on the basis of a quick voice vote — after which the bill is sent to committee for closer scrutiny, witness testimony and any proposed amendments before returning to the Senate for a final debate and vote.

But in the case of Bill C-45, the 33 Conservative senators had vowed to vote en masse against it at second reading.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

COSAR makes Kelowna Law Day debut

The search and rescue team was on scene as Girl Guides were arrested left and right

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

Battle of the concert bands in Lake Country

The annual Concert Band competition is held at Creekside Theatre April 24 to 26

Snoozed through the news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, the Capital News will feature popular stories from the week

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

VIDEO: 33 Oliver-area homes evacuated due to flooding

Flooding in the Sportsman Bowl area has swelled drastically over course of one week

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read