This is a huge step, as Canada leads the way in legalising Cannabis as a recreational substance after Uruguay. Canada took this step Wednesday 18th October, seven years after legalizing medical cannabis. People are celebrating on the streets, as all the world is watching how one of the biggest countries is taking its first steps. If Canada shows success, there is a big chance others will follow.
There are a lot of things that are still uncertain as there is a lot to figure out. First thing is how to get the demand matching with the production, as it is predicted the demand will be bigger than what is legally available at the moment. There will be a definite adjustment in production and in licensing.
The world is watching as marketplace itself is still evolving, new shops are beginning to open as retail is growing, until then people can order products online. Some unlicensed retailers can keep their doors open, although it’s not known if the police will work on shutting them down.
It’s not even a question if cannabis being legal will change the country, it’s just how. And as we Australians are watching, we are holding our breath hoping this experiment will be a successful one so we can implement the same, shifting away from restrictions.
The hope is that Canada will be prosperous in keeping the drug away from young people, that the laws will change to help justice system work smoother and that the illegal drug market will be brought to its knees. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promised people to take profit away from criminals and stop underaged cannabis use. And of course, we can’t overlook the extra $400m a year that would come in with taxes.
The new laws around cannabis will give free access to buy and possess 30 grams of cannabis products from licensed retailers. Edibles are still not as regulated, so it will take around a year until cannabis-infused foods will be more available.
Laws will be still strict, if you possess more than 30g or grow over four plants or buy from a criminal dealer or give cannabis to young people, you will still be prosecuted and jailed up to 14 years. Canada keeps the laws strict as they want to keep the control and make sure any illegal activity is not tolerated.
One subject of worry is people driving while under the influence, an extra screening will be implemented but there is also the fear that the offenses will be too common as half of the users believe they can drive fine after using cannabis.
The Canadian Psychiatric Society has said they do recommend people under 25 not to use cannabis regularly as it can affect their memory and can push people who are mentally weaker to developmental issues. Also, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada gave out their opinion that cannabis use during pregnancy should be avoided as there can be adverse effects on the development of the foetus.
Legalizing cannabis has also affected the neighbor US, as in US cannabis is still not federally legal. Customs and Border Protection Agency will have their hands full determining who can access the US and who can’t. It can be that if you smoke cannabis, you might not be able to cross the international border.
It will be appropriate to say a big thank you for the Canadians to taking this massive leap and doing this test for all of us. As we can only predict the outcome, we all hope it’s all going to go well, and the result will be positive so all the world could follow.