Canadian Cannabis: Legalized by July 1st?

Photo below of the cannabis-infused Canadian flag waving in front of the Peace Tower

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            With Canada Day 2018 quickly approaching, it’s unclear whether the Canadian government will meet their goal of legalizing recreational cannabis. When the date was initially announced, many were excited to see the potential benefits, from the decriminalization of the substance to the industries that would emerge to support it. The government’s plan would allow businesses and research groups to obtain licenses to cultivate and sell marijuana seeds, plants, and most importantly, flower.

 

However, as more and more regulations and restrictions came in to place, many Canadians began to worry. Some believe that the “4-Plant per household” regulation shows that marijuana is hardly legal and will be ‘too’ regulated by the government. 

There’s a few reasons why cannabis may not be legalized, or at least, open to buy on July 1st, 2018. It all matters how long it takes the Senate to conclude their review and fully adopt Bill C-45: 


Concerns of Law Enforcement Agencies:

  • dangerous, Impaired Driving

  • LACK OF RECOGNITION EXPERTS

  • Young drivers

  • education and misinformation

 

Daniel Dubeau, the acting High Commissioner of the RCMP, has stated they will not be ready to apply this legislation during the summer. One of many issues identified is the current number of experts who can accurately identify and recognize those who are under the influence of cannabis. Many Conservative government representatives feel that Canada must increase the amount of marijuana by at least double. Some feel that the marijuana-impaired driving was a large issue in states that recently legalized, such as Oregon, Colorado, and Maine. 

 

Many also urge the rush of legalization, to expedite the testing and research process that will follow. There is the significant fact that Canada could break out as the forerunner and leader in cannabis research. Although the substance has been accepted in the Netherlands since the mid-70s, it isn’t technically legal. Instead, they live in a gedoogbeleid society. The Dutch term Gedoogbeleid means “tolerance policy”. The connotation this has is that law enforcement and the society that they protect have an unwritten agreement to carefully handle the ‘soft’ drugs, like marijuana and low-level painkillers, and be very careful, even averse, to the ‘hard’ drugs in society, like cocaine and other highly addictive substances. 

 

…But what about Canada?!

Yes… Canada is a much different case when regarding cannabis compared to anywhere else in the world. It seems the main concern of the Canadian government is the likely potential increase of cannabis-impaired drivers and identifying whats required to mitigate any risks.

 

From investors to government officials, all parties are confident in legalization in the summer. The question is: When in the summer?

  It seems there are still senators who oppose the legalization of cannabis, but unfortunately for them, too much progress has been made to turn back. It would seem the issue is that there are still many leaps and bounds to made be made regarding the scientific understanding of marijuana’s influence as well as the societal implications of the substance’s introduction. These gaps will shorten and be solved as we approach legalization at an exponential rate. It’s clear that it will be later than sooner. Even Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said that full implementation of the legal cannabis system will not be operation until after July 1st.  

 

In conclusion, we shouldn’t expect to be buying cannabis in stores until after those hot, summer days.

 

 

 

 

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Sources: 

https://www.nichecanada.com/single-post/2018/01/29/The-Timeline-for-Cannabis-Legalization-is-Prudent-and-Achievable

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/minister-legal-cannabis-senate-committee-1.4522970

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-tuesday-edition-1.4522534/conservative-senator-says-police-won-t-be-ready-for-high-drivers-by-canada-day-deadline-1.4522556

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/regulatory-lag-to-push-legal-marijuana-to-late-summer/article37871180/

 

https://biv.com/article/2018/02/canadians-spent-roughly-57-billion-cannabis-2017?utm_content=buffer16f5f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/03/07/can-canada-learn-amsterdam-ahead-marijuana-legalization/

 

https://www.midasletter.com/2018/03/marijuana-legalization-timeline-under-pressure-as-senate-conservatives-balk/