By Amanda Coletta
TORONTO – Canada’s Senate on Tuesday passed the federal government’s historic bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, clearing the way for the country to become the first advanced industrialized nation to legalize the drug nationwide and fulfilling a major campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 52 to 29, with two abstentions, lifting a prohibition on the recreational use of marijuana that has been in place since 1923. The law will not take effect until it receives royal assent – a final ceremonial stage of the legislative process – and the government sets a date for legalization.
On Wednesday, Trudeau announced that marijuana would be legal on Oct. 17. He had hoped to make cannabis legal by July 1, but Canada’s provinces and territories said they needed eight to 12 weeks to make final preparations before they would be able