Why Canadian Cannabis Legalization Could Set A Global Example
In April of 2017, the government announced that it would fully legalize recreational cannabis, and that sales will officially be permitted in July of 2018. This is a promise that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made on the campaign trail, and at least it seems like he intends to keep that promise that likely helped get him elected. More and more, industries of all kinds are becoming global – international partnerships and global customers. The cannabis industry certainly is no different. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor made it clear that even if the legislation passes in the Senate July, provinces will need around 8 to 12 weeks until storefronts could finally sell legal herb. This pushes the retail sale of legal cannabis back to August at the earliest. But even though legal weed in the country has been delayed, if and when it does go through nationally, Canada could serve as a prime example for the proper regulation and distribution of legal cannabis at a federal level. Read on to find out why!
Despite the fact that the majority of Canadians support legalization and recreational sales, Trudeau did not anticipate all of the bureaucracy and political roadblocks that he and his staff would face when trying to get the legalization legislation. One of those roadblocks has been Canadian police requesting that the legalization legislation be delayed so they could better understand how to enforce new laws and regulations. Which to some cannabis advocates might seem strange, as the main reason why most people favor legalization is to stop enforcing cannabis laws and get such laws off the books entirely. Every Canadian also needs to figure out what their local laws will be for recreational sales. Growing and selling cannabis without a license would still be highly illegal at the federal level. In addition, if passed, the legislation would crack down on anyone caught selling pot to anyone who is under the age of 18 – those caught doing so could face over a decade of incarceration.
Another group who is dragging their feet in opposition to cannabis freedom for adults is the Quebec Association of Psychiatrists, who claims that the legalization is ‘unacceptable’; citing debatable claims that marijuana consumption potentially harms a young person’s brain. Which is an interesting thing for a psychiatrist’s association to say, considering how many brain-altering pharmaceutical medications a typical psychiatrist will prescribe children of all ages. The association thinks that only adults 21 and older should be able to consume the plant medicine legally, and that advertising and home growing should remain illegal offenses.
Regardless of these roadblocks, there is hope that Canada’s regulation of cannabis at the federal level can be a prime example for a growing global cannabis market. Canada will become only the second country in the world to ‘fully’ legalize cannabis at the federal level. Uruguay did so last year, and they initially achieved great success with the program. That is, until U.S. banks got involved. Many of the businesses in other countries rely on U.S. banks for their company bank accounts, so the fact that American-owned financial institutions still don’t allow cannabis entrepreneurs to open accounts was a hindrance to the sale of the green in the country
However, Canada is a larger nation that Uruguay, obviously, with many Canadian business owners not having to rely at all on using U.S. banks to help run their companies. In addition, there is a larger start-up sector in Canada than there is in Uruguay, with many innovative entrepreneurs finding ways around traditional baking – such as letting their customers buy product with crypto currency like Bitcoin. Canadian cannabis entrepreneurs have no doubt studied what mistakes the dispensaries in Uruguay might have made, and will be ready to correct any such market failures. Canada is simply a bigger market in general as well. According to Forbes, the legal cannabis market in Canada could be worth over $10 billion right off the bat, depending on how fast the state of California gets their recreational sales going.
Even though the politics of the matter is beyond muddled and confusing, one thing is certain. If passed this summer, and finally implemented a month or two after that, Canada will serve as a great example for the entire world of how legalization and sensible regulation of the plant medicine is a better system than prohibition. Even if the legislation fails and falls flat on its face, it could serve as an example of what not to do for the rest of the world. Whether the prohibitionist-minded like it or not, the days of arresting decent people for ingesting a plant are slowly but surely coming to an end for good. We think it can’t happen quickly enough.
What do you think? Will cannabis legalization in Canada be a model of ending prohibition that the rest of the world should follow? Or is Prime Minister Trudeau rushing into it too fast? Would full legalization lead to more stoned drivers and more teenage use like some prohibitionists have said? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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