The law, hope and pot in Canada

By Cannabis Training University (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Cannabis Training University (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Currently, only Spain and Uruguay have legalized marijuana at the national level. Now Canada is about to as well, which has launched a national policy debate. The issues involved are complex, as we’ve seen in the U.S. states that have legalized marijuana: Should edibles be legal, and if so should there be restrictions on their appearance so that children don’t eat them? What should the age of legal use be? Should people be able buy pot through the mail, or should it be restricted to government run shops? What should the tax regime be?

What is certain is that a roughly $9 billion Canadian industry is emerging from the shadows, and that major corporate interests wish to engage. For a good summary of the issues involved, it’s worth watching the first 6 minutes of Canada’s most-respected news program, the National, for December 13, 2016. Please be warned that a 30 second advertisement may play before you can view the news report. Whatever happens in the United States under the new administration, Canada is unlikely to be the last country to legalize pot.

Shawn Smallman, 2016

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