Canada to unveil recreational marijuana rules in November

Canada's health minister said Thursday that the government has formed a special task force to propose ways to regulate sales of recreational marijuana ahead of legalization in 2017.

The group includes a former attorney general of Canada, an expert in pain management and cannabis therapeutics, a drug policy researcher, a law professor and a handful of ex-cops, said Health Minister Jane Philpott.

The panel will examine the production and testing of the drug, distribution and marketing, and "look at the experience of other jurisdictions" that have lifted bans on the recreational pot use, Philpott said.

Canada is expected to become the first member of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to fully legalize cannabis use, after allowing medical use in 2001.

Philpott offered several reasons for ending the ban on pot to a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on global problems in April.

These include the view that laws criminalizing marijuana use have been overly-harsh and ineffective.

Uruguay became the first country to fully legalize marijuana in 2013.

About one million of Canada's 35 million citizens regularly smoke , according to a 2014 survey.

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© 2016 AFP

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