While the move was welcomed by many, there was an immediate backlash from the United Nations body that monitors and supports governments' compliance with the three international drug control treaties.
The Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said, "The legalization by Canada of cannabis for non-medical purposes is incompatible with the legal obligations incumbent on states parties under the international drug control framework."
The organization also maintains that by moving forward with the legalization of cannabis for non-medical purposes in disregard of its legal obligations and diplomatic commitments, the government of Canada has contributed to weakening the international legal drug control framework and undermining the rules-based international order.
Residents of the far-eastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador were the first to be able to legally buy marijuana as shops opened at the stroke of midnight.
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