Marijuana to be Legalized in Canada
In the United States, legalization efforts for high quality medical marijuana and the recreational use of cannabis are widespread throughout the states, but still encounter substantial pushback when it comes to the federal government. However, in the wake of the American Government’s back stepping and indecision regarding the rights of the populous, Canada has stepped in to show the US how it’s done. On April 13th, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, unveiled the Cannabis Act, which aims to federally allow the legalization of marijuana across Canada.
Recreational Cannabis Legalization in Canada
Sound the trumpets and spark the bongs, those hockey heads never cease to surprise us. If you’re as excited as we are to take that first road trip across the border to the Promised Land you’ll be interested in exactly how this proposed legalization will be handled and exactly what legislation it entails. Though the country’s government overall seems to support the general subject of legalization, the Cannabis Act is still a bill and has not been ratified into law—yet. For the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, many regulatory issues must first be ironed out. Here, we hope to give you a clearer picture of how the Cannabis Act is planned for implementation and how it is projected to affect citizens of the United States. The majority of information found here is sourced from the official Canadian government’s website concerning the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana.
When Will Marijuana Legalization Take Effect in Canada?
As the Cannabis Act is still in its legislative stages, the government has not given any firm dates as to when the proposed law for the legalization of marijuana will take effect. However, in keeping with the bill’s timeline parameters, it will be no later than July 2018. In the meantime, the federal and state governments will be hard at work to lay out the specific stipulations and liberties regarding Marijuana’s recreational legalization. Before Americans can border hop for a weekend of baked-bliss smoking their favorite high quality pot, Canada’s parliament must approve any legislation.
Why Is Marijuana Legalization to Be Allowed in Canada?
As members of the cannabis community know and as many scientific and medical experts have advocated, cannabis is not a debilitating drug. Canada has exemplified this clairvoyance and, for years, has federally approved the use of medical marijuana. The United States still has marijuana on the DEA’s list of class-A substances, alongside cocaine, heroin, and meth.
The prevailing argument that many developed countries make for the general decriminalization of drugs, hinges on control. By legalizing a substance, the government has more control over its production, distribution, and the public’s access. Criminalization only perpetuates the organized crime groups that supply users, creating an astigmatic view of drug users as criminals, rather than suffering from a mental health related issue. On Canada’s government website, they elaborate on the aims, goals, and purposes of the Cannabis Act. The Cannabis Act in Canada proposes to…
- Prevent the accessibility of cannabis to Canada’s children and youth
- Shield and protect children and youth from promotions, enticements, and other marketing techniques aimed towards increasing the use of cannabis
- Increase the legal penalties associated with the importing, exporting, or supplying cannabis with the intent to supply underage minors
- Improve and protect the public health, by federally regulating the cannabis industry to ensure legally mandated quality requirements
- Decrease the amount minor infractions related to marijuana in order to relieve the burden put on the criminal justice system
- Enable cannabis to be produced legally, thereby decreasing the amount of illegal manufacturing and distribution
- Provide avenues for adults to possess and have access to high-quality, legally regulated and controlled cannabis
- Dispel the taboos related to cannabis, as well as increase the efforts in public awareness regarding the risks associated with marijuana
Will Marijuana Be Legalized Equally All over Canada?
Canadian cannabis will be legalized nationally; however, individual states and provinces will hold full power to designate their own stipulations on the local production, use, and sale of cannabis. The Cannabis Act outlines the groundwork and a few basic stipulations but the majority of control is granted to individual states.
This is very much how it has happened in America as well. The difference in how the federal government views the issue. In the United States, if an individual state decides to go legal, they are technically in violation of a federal law, which gives the DEA full authority to dismantle any operation, regardless of state, as well as charge individuals with a crime for acting within the bounds of their state laws. Canada’s Cannabis Act is set to fix that conundrum.
The federal government in Canada will give the states full allowance to provide or restrict access to cannabis as they see fit and, in lieu of state regulation, federal allowance will apply. This difference signifies a major delineation between the American and Canadian governments’ mentality regarding both the state’s right to implement their own law and the federal government’s right to legislate personal liberties into law.
Who Will Have Access to Legalized Marijuana & How Much?
Outside of specific provinces that regulate outside of the federal stipulations, anyone who is at least 18 years old will be able to possess, use, and purchase marijuana no later than July 1st, 2018. As the bill stands, adults will be legally allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use.
How Will Canada Regulate and License Marijuana Growers?
As far as the specifics for prospective grow operation regulations, the Cannabis Act, as it stands, leaves it up to the individual provinces for stipulating how to obtain a commercial grow license. The federal government will set health guidelines for the commercial cannabis growing industry; however, they have not yet outlined such details. The Cannabis Act does specify some guidelines for federal regulation on individual growers, though. According to the Canadian government’s official website, individual citizens will be legally permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants per household.
What It Means for the United States
There is mixed opinion as to how the Canadian Cannabis Act will affect Canadian tourism and what kind of national revenue increase might be seen. However, once the law goes into effect and cannabis is recreationally legal nationwide, residents of the Midwestern United States will be benefited with their own “Canna-eden,” only a few hours’ drive away. Once Americans cross the border, they are free to recreate with as much THC and CBD products as they choose. Whether there will be bud bars and hash cafes in border towns is yet to be seen, but tourist locations, like Niagra Falls and Toronto, will have a tough time ignoring the incredibly eager market that waits at the border gate.