Canada has made history, becoming the first major world economy to end prohibition and legalize recreational marijuana. It has become the second country in the world after Uruguay to legalize the plant and residents have been flooding the newly opened pot shops to take part in the legal industry. Canadian residents will now be allowed to possess and share up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower as well as grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Cannabis flower and oil will be available for sale. However, edibles still won’t be legal for another year.
The Benefits of Canadian Cannabis Sales
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has argued that legalizing the already popular plant will take this industry out of the hands of the black market. It will prevent residents from being arrested for possessing small amounts of the plant as well as low quality, untested and potentially contaminated marijuana from being sold to residents in the black market. Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001 and, since then, approximately 330,000 Canadian patients registered to use the plant as medicine. According to Statistics Canada, 4.9 million Canadians purchased marijuana last year, each of them using at least 20 grams over the year. This amounts to at least $5.6 billion spent on the Canadian black market. This money will now go towards the country’s economy and it will also ensure that people have access to clean and tested flower that is free from any harmful contaminates.
Differing Regulations Per Area
Individual provinces in Canada will also be responsible for the rules and regulations when it comes to consuming marijuana. Some areas have banned all public smoking while others are perfectly fine with it. For example, the laws in the Alberta province are quite liberal, but Calgary, the biggest city in this province, has banned public smoking and people who break this rule will receive a $100 fine. It will be important for both residents and tourists to familiarize themselves with the local regulations.
Flying with Cannabis
Residents will also be able to bring small amounts of marijuana with them when they travel as long as it is a domestic flight. Tourists will not be able to bring marijuana purchased in Canada out of the country, however. It is still illegal on a federal level in the U.S., which means that despite the plant’s legal status in 9 U.S. states, it is still illegal to transport it state to state and internationally. Even travel to a state in the U.S., such as California, where marijuana is legal, is unacceptable. It is illegal to cross Canadian international borders with the plant.
Canada will no doubt become a larger social experiment in what could happen by ending prohibition. How things progress from here could have global impacts. As it stands, marijuana, while legal for medicinal use in 30 states and legal for recreational use in 9 states, is still an illegal substance in the U.S. Statistics show, however, that over 60 percent of Americans are in favor of ending prohibition and legalizing the plant for recreational use.