This week Canada legalised cannabis sales, and the world has lost their mind! It is the world’s first major economy to do so and on day one, the vast majority of retail outlets sold out of cannabis products. Whilst medical marajuana has been legal since 2001, Canadian adults can now buy it for recreational use.
Legalisation of cannabis was one of president Justin Trudeau’s election pledges and whilst the issue of the legalisation will evoke strong opinions and reactions from people and politicians the world over, it is nice to see a politician carry out their promises.
Part of the reasoning behind his promise was to cut funds going in to the black market. Whilst on the face of it, this looks like this will indeed help in this area, only time will tell the real implications of this legalisation and the rest of the world will be looking on interested.
Whilst the legalisation appears to make life easier for those who choose to use the drug, it actually has meant an increase in rules and regulations regarding the use of the drug. Across Canada’s provinces the rules vary widely – from a minimum age of use ranging between 18 and 21 in Quebec. Some provinces have face to face stores, whereas some only have online purchasing available. You can still only purchase from approved retailers though – and selling even a small quantity to a friend is still illegal.
The issue of travelling with the drug is also likely to cause problems, with the rules varying about where in a vehicle it can be, as well as what kind of packaging it must be transported in. Some people will still not be able to take the drug and go to work the next day – with some professions (for example the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) must wait 28 days after their last use before being considered fit for work – meaning that they realistically cannot participate.
The vast majority of Canadians are currently unaware of these issues and it might take a while for everything to be fully understood.