Quebec tabled cannabis legislation on Thursday that will give a provincially run agency tight control over the purchase, storage and sale of the drug.
A newly created subsidiary of Quebec's liquor corporation will oversee the pot industry, Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said in the national assembly as she tabled Bill 157.
Charlebois said the bill forbids minors from possessing cannabis, prohibits people from growing it for personal use and stipulates that smoking it will be banned in the same places where smoking tobacco is illegal.
The bill introduces "a new principle of zero tolerance" regarding drivers caught under the influence of marijuana or any other drug.
"It prohibits anyone from driving a vehicle ... or having control of a vehicle if there is any detectable presence of cannabis or any other drug in their saliva," Charlebois said.
The bill also gives police officers the power to demand saliva samples from drivers suspected of being under the influence.
Only the new agency — the Societe quebecoise du cannabis — will be allowed to buy cannabis from a producer, transport it, store it and sell it, although there may be certain exceptions.
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Ottawa has promised marijuana will be legal across Canada by next July 1 and has left it to the provinces to create their own legal framework on how the law would be enforced on their territory.
Quebec tabled the legislation a day after it again asked the federal government to push back the July 1 deadline by one year so the province can reach agreement with Ottawa on various money-related issues such as the division of tax revenues.
On Thursday, the national assembly adopted a motion by a margin of 97-2 to ask Ottawa to delay implementing the law.
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