Canadians Just Got Cooler By Making Marijuana Legal
Canada, our understated yet appealing northern cousin, has finally found a way to outshine the U.S. As of October 17th, Canada legalized marijuana for recreational use nationwide, making it the second country in the world to do so after Uruguay.
Why Did it Happen?
The Canadian Senate voted 52 to 26 in support the Cannabis Act back in June. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on supporting the act, stating that legalizing the substance would allow the government to better regulate it. According to Trudeau, that means keeping it out the hands of minors and circumventing related crime. The $300 million in Canadian tax dollars weed is expected to generate, ain't too shabby either.
Who Can Buy Recreational Marijuana?
Adults 19 and over (18 and older in Quebec and Alberta) can purchase recreational marijuana, but where and how much varies across the country. Some provinces and territories will have weed for sale only at dispensaries, while others will sell it at supermarkets so you can stock up on munchies at the same damn time.
Can I Bring Canadian Weed to the States?
Nice try. Canada decreed flying internationally with marijuana illegal, so you’ll have to roll up on their side of the border. Yes, even if you're flying to a place where recreational marijuana is legal. Additionally, if you’re a South Korean citizen, you can’t smoke anywhere on the planet without risking prison time.
How is Legalization a Good Thing?
For one, those who were convicted of marijuana possession of 30 grams or less during its prohibition will be retroactively pardoned under the new law. Trudeau also expects less marijuana-related crime in general, since its legalization is so inclusive.
From a medical standpoint, marijuana as an over-the-counter treatment can prove beneficial. Surveyed doctors who support it’s legalization expect to see a marked decrease in patients suffering from anxiety, chronic pain and panic attacks. There are also projections that marijuana use will soon eclipse alcohol and tobacco use. Time will tell if this trend leads to a decrease in alcohol and tobacco related illness and deaths.
But Really, What’s the Catch?
Doctors who oppose the Cannabis Act fear increased doctor visits for marijuana addiction and symptoms of psychosis (I guess thinking you can eat an entire pizza pie does qualify as psychotic).
There are also caveates to the new law. You can only buy up to 30 grams at a time, and cannot carry more than that, in “public spaces” (anywhere that’s not a private home, apparently). And as you may have been wondering, selling marijuana without a license can land you in jail for up to 14 years.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Legalizing cannabis was a good call. Not only will Canada decrease the amount of convicts and gain quick tax revenue, but it may just become the Amsterdam of the western hemisphere. So if you find yourself strolling down a Canadian street with a sense of calm, it may just be the vibe of a healthier, wealthier nation. Or maybe just an awesome contact high.
Cover image via Scary Mommy