Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to begin the process of full scale marijuana legalization during his 2015 campaign that he has just started to put into motion. On Thursday, he introduced legislature that would officially end prohibition by July 2018. If he is successful at implementing this plan, Canada will be the second country after Uruguay to legalize marijuana for personal use. He has stated that this move would minimize the money going into the black market and organized crime, allowing it to become a regulated industry that has the ability to be beneficial for everyone.
Regulations of Canadian Marijuana Legalization
The proposed new law would allow adults over the age of 18 to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana and grow up to 4 plants. Marijuana stores would be able to sell a variety of products, including dried flowers, although edibles will be introduced slowly some time later. A legal driving limit will be created and people would not be able to drive within 2 hours of consuming quantities that exceed the limit. Steps would be taken to minimize the exposure of marijuana to people under the legal age and selling marijuana to a minor would incur a jail sentence of up to 14 years.
Safeguarding from Children
Great concern is being taken to stop kids from getting access to the plant. Currently, kids are finding easy access to marijuana products through Canada’s black market despite the fact that the police force spends between $2 to $3 billion a year trying to prevent this. “By providing a highly regulated system of distribution, we can be much more successful as we have been with alcohol,” said Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice. “It’s not an absolute guarantee that kids won’t get access to it, but it will be far more difficult for kids to get access to it when this new regime is in place than it is today.”
Shifting Focus from the Black Market
Currently the black market makes somewhere between $7 and $8 billion on drug sales. This new law would drastically change that reality, putting the money back into the community. Local provinces, territories and cities will be able to run law enforcement in whatever ways seem appropriate for the local community needs. Marijuana, of course would be strictly forbidden to be taken over the border into the U.S. where it is still illegal on a federal level, regardless of what might be permissible in various states.
While Canada puts marijuana reform into motion, the U.S. is desperately trying to do the same, although the new Trump administration, in particular prohibitionist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has put a strain and concern on the marijuana industry across the country. Talk of cracking down on recreational marijuana has been shared with the public, however no official plans have been made. Nevertheless, many states are moving forward with plans to end prohibition and it seems it’s only a matter of time before the catastrophic banning of marijuana is finally over.