Quebec reduces the legal age to buy pot from 21 to 18

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Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has made the call: the minimum age for the consumption of legal marijuana in Quebec will be 18.

After several intense Liberal caucus meetings where everyone was allowed to express their views on the tricky issue, Couillard Thursday made a final decision, opting for 18 instead of 21 as some wanted, government sources in Quebec City confirmed Friday.

On the other hand, the more conservative elements in the caucus won another battle: the distribution and sales of marijuana will remain under control of the state, the source said.

Quebec plans to create a Crown corporation that will make use of expertise at the Société des alcools to handle sales. As already reported by the Montreal Gazette, employees will act as pot counsellors instead of salespeople, to warn youth of the dangers of weed.

The hearings heard from several health organizations that argued the minimum age for marijuana consumption should be 21.