Canadian Senators voted to pass a federal bill legalizing recreational marijuana, meaning that a legal cannabis market could open up within eight to 12 weeks. The bill passed the Senate 52 to 29, with two abstentions.
"I'm feeling just great. We've just witnessed a historic vote for Canada," said Senator Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill. "The end of 90 years of prohibition. Transformative social policy, I think. A brave move on the part of the government."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the bill on Twitter. "It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize and regulate marijuana just passed the Senate."
Trudeau and his cabinet will be responsible for setting the actual date for the new laws implementation. A buffer of eight to 12 weeks is built into the law however to provide time to prepare.
The vote makes Canada only the second country in the world to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, along with Uruguay.