The stores selling marijuana for recreational purposes will open their doors this Wednesday in Canada, which makes the country the second to legalize cannabis after Uruguay.
The opening of the market at the national level has begun early this Wednesday as part of a series of criticisms about the impact this may have on health, law and public safety.
The provinces and municipalities have been preparing for months to lift the ban. They are responsible for setting out shops where people can buy or consume the drug following the new regulations.
Last June, Governor General of Canada Julie Payette signed the legal text- which was approved by the Senate with 52 votes in favor and 29 against.
The date set to start selling cannabis legally in the country was delayed by the authorities, who initially believed that the sale could be legalized within eight to twelve weeks after the approval of the law.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has promoted the campaign in favor of legalization, has indicated that the new law will prevent consumption by minors and reduce the crime related to the sale and consumption of drugs.
Canadian public health officials argue that smoking cannabis is as harmful as tobacco, but appreciate the opportunity provided by legalization for an open dialogue.
‘As a doctor and as a father, I do not agree with the legalization of recreational cannabis,’ said Antonio Vigano, a specialist in medical marijuana and director of research at the Sante Cannabis Clinic in Montreal.
Canadians are among the largest per capita users of cannabis in the world with 4.6 million or one in eight who consumed marijuana this year (including 18% of youth in Ottawa, the country`s capital).