The dream that marijuana will be decriminalized in the U.S. has taken a hit in the past few months. Statements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggest we may still be a long way from legal weed at the national level.
But in a bit of exciting news, our neighbors to the north are poised to move in the opposite direction. On April 13, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kept a campaign promise and introduced legislation for the legalization of marijuana in Canada – including recreational use.
You may have seen articles floating around Facebook and Twitter and wondered, “Really? How’s that going to work?” Or, maybe you thought, “Canada’s keeping it real,” and moved on with your day.
As Canadian First Lady Sophie Grégoire Trudeau said, “Being real is not a strategy.” But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a great deal of strategic thinking behind the move.
So let’s take a closer look at the why’s and how’s of Canada weed legalization.
Why Legalize Marijuana Now?
A recent online survey by NRG Research Group suggests about half of Canadians support legalization (with 33 percent opposed). Those numbers likely aren’t enough to have prompted the move on their own. But, the Canadian government seems to be as optimistic about legalization as its citizens. And, that has made nation-wide legalization a very real possibility.
According to lawmaker and former Toronto police chief, Bill Blair prohibition has failed to protect children and the community. So, in an effort to find a better solution and eliminate the marijuana black market, Canada is taking a bold step and changing course.
The people, the government, and a number of scientific and economic studies have come out in favor of legalization. It would seem there is no better time than now to pursue legalization.
But such a huge move is sure to be rife with challenges.
Challenges of Canada Marijuana Legalization
There are a wide variety of factors that must be taken into account before Canada can legalize marijuana cleanly and safely.
Law enforcement and employers must have a reliable way to check for impairment, so a cannabis “breathalyzer” must be developed. Scientific research has been limited with marijuana’s illegal classification, and studies will have to be conducted to better understand the long-term health effects of marijuana use, especially on individuals under 25.
Regulating the growth, transport, and sale of cannabis for commercial or personal use presents its own challenges. Provinces will have a lot of say in how marijuana is sold, just as states and counties in theU.S. can place more stringent regulations on alcohol sales (tax rate, hours of operation, dry counties, etc).
For states in the U.S. with legal recreational pot, this may not seem that difficult. But, the largest hurdle Canada has to jump over on its way to legalization may not be national laws or local regulations, but international treaties.
International Drug Laws & Treaties
International treaties that Canada (and the U.S.) is a part of prohibiting marijuana legalization. The U.S. has gotten around those treaties so far by noting that – despite leniency with state laws – marijuana is still technically illegal at the federal level.
Canada, however, is pursuing legalization at the country level. And, in order to succeed, they are either going to have to find a loophole or find a way to change the treaties.
In either case, other countries considering legalization will be taking diligent notes.
Karing Kind is Boulder’s First Recreational Marijuana Dispensary
We strive to offer a top-tier experience every time you enter our store. Our wide selection of environmentally strains, concentrates, and edibles, along with the lowest marijuana tax rate in the state, makes us the perfect Colorado cannabis destination.
Karing Kind is located just off of US-36, one mile north of Broadway, open daily from 9am to 10pm.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available now.