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Canada on precipice of marijuana legalization

author: kristian ferguson | news editor

marijuana
this is your brain on drugs credit DonkeyHotey and Douglas Sprott via Flickr

 

Soon, you could smoke weed with ease

 

The Liberal Party made big campaign promises about their plans to legalize the ever-controversial drug, marijuana, and for the time being, it seems that they are holding up that promise in particular.

Trudeau and his government drafted up the “Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada,” which does exactly as it states: provide a framework for how the government wants to enact, enforce and manage legal marijuana.

As it stands, Trudeau was very adamant about enforcing all current laws regarding marijuana until something concrete is passed through government. This controversial decision to legalize also came with critique from his opponents, on both the right and the left.

On the left, many say that Trudeau should decriminalize marijuana before legalizing so that people aren’t prosecuted for minor drug offences while there are active plans to make it legal. Some others also want people that are currently in prison for minor drug offences to be pardoned once legalization is enacted.

On the right, health critics like Colin Carrie want stricter age restrictions. To the surprise of some, there is very little in the way of outright opposition to the new marijuana policies.

The framework itself provides a very detailed list of things that it is looking to accomplish. It makes itself very clear in limiting where marijuana will be available for purchase, taking particular note to keep it away from parks and schools.

With no clear consensus on age-limit, the framework suggests a minimum of at least 18, but does say that it will leave the exact age to the provinces themselves.

Packaging on marijuana products is also going to be highly regulated so as to not appear appealing to children or disguise any edible materials as candies.

Taxation is another important topic, with the framework saying that strains with higher amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol [THC], the active psychological chemical in marijuana, will be taxed more than weaker strains.

The most interesting, and what would set Canada apart from other places that have done similarly with cannabis, is the ability to smoke it openly, similarly to how tobacco smokers are given particular areas for smoking.

On top of that, there is also room for businesses and entrepreneurs to open spaces dedicated to smoking marijuana, like a bar or a lounge, but for marijuana.

With these, as well as the lax outlines on personal growing and being able to carry up to thirty grams on your person, this puts Canada in a very unique space.

Theoretically, could the University of Regina see marijuana lounges or bars open on campus similar to how The Owl does with alcohol? It is not as if there is not a student market for cannabis. The possibilities are wide and varied and that has many people excited, whether they are long-time smokers, or potential first-timers.

 

About Kristian Ferguson