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The Liberal government avoided a disastrous result for its marquee marijuana bill Thursday, as the legislation to legalize recreational cannabis passed a key stage in the Senate. It’s now headed to five separate committees for further study. Senators voted 44 to 29 to pass the bill, largely along partisan lines, at second reading. A defeat would have killed the bill, forcing the government to start over again in the House of Commons with new legislation, all the while jeopardizing plans for full legalization by summer. All 28 Conservative senators present in the chamber voted against the bill. Virtually all Independent senators — most of them appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — sided with the government. Trudeau government avoids defeat on key pot bill vote

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