OTTAWA: Canada on Wednesday became the world´s first major economy to fully legalize cannabis, sparking celebrations as the nation embarked on the controversial experiment in drug policy.
Throughout the country huge lines outside pot shops snaked around city blocks, cannabis flew off store shelves and government websites processed 100 pot orders per minute.
Scores of customers braved the cold for hours outside Tweed, a pot boutique in St John´s, Newfoundland that opened at midnight, to buy their first grams (ounces) of legal cannabis.
Ian Power said prior to its grand opening, he was happy to "make history" by being the first to legally buy pot in Canada, adding that he would frame those few grams rather than smoke them.
"I´m elated. I´m so excited, I can´t stop smiling. I´m not cold. It´s freezing cold out, but I´m not cold," he said.
In Cape Breton, platinum record-selling fiddler Ashley MacIsaac was among the first buyers, while in Toronto revelers attended a "Wake and Bake" party with music, a glass pipe blower and campfire treats.