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Canada legalizes weed

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:27s - Published < > Embed
Canada legalizes weed

Canada legalizes weed

Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis.

Fred Katayama reports.


Canada legalizes weed

Over 100 people lined up outside a weed store in St.

John's in northeastern Canada to get their first legal smoke right after midnight.

At the stroke of 12, Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IAN POWER, ONE OF THE FIRST CUSTOMERS TO MAKE A PURCHASE AT THE STORE, SAYING: "I came out to be the first person in Canada to buy a legal gram of recreational cannabis to help see the ending of prohibition in Canada finally." But it's websites, not brick-and-mortar stores, that will do most of the selling.

And that's because Canada's provinces are behind schedule in setting up physical locations.

After a good run-up to the legalization date, cannabis stocks were down on the day when smoking weed became legal in Canada.

Ryan Smith is the CEO of LeafLink, a cannabis marketplace based in New York: (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEAFLINK CEO RYAN SMITH, SAYING: "It's being billed as an experiment in Canada, but it's an experiment that we've seen proven now in almost a dozen states in the U.S. So, what's going to happen is, it's going to be more normalized, become more mainstream, and people will look at countries, like Canada, as an example to emulate here, because it means compliance, it means safer products, it means free tax money, basically, for governments, and that's exciting." Legalizing cannabis is a political win for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised it in his 2015 election campaign.

He said his goal was to take profits away from organized crime, and regulate a product that millions of Canadians were consuming illegally.

Now other countries are watching.

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