Canada has had semi-loose laws regarding marijuana for some time now. Medicinal dispensaries have operated openly for years with little issue, as they exist in somewhat of a gray area. This may change soon as Canada just started the process to legalize marijuana entirely. This morning, Canada announced that they created a task force to build the framework for completely legalizing the possession and usage of the plant. This task force is planning to release a final report to the public sometime in November, where we will be able to see their findings on the matter.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, told parliament in the beginning of 2016 that “in [He believes in the] legalization and regulation of marijuana because it protects our kids and keeps money out of the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs…” Health Minister of the U.N., Jane Philpott, said the legalization could take place as early as 2017.
With the U.S. changing drug laws surrounding marijuana and a much larger shift expected to be coming soon, it’s not surprising that Canada has decided that it would be time to join in and keep pace with much of the modern world. This potential legalization in Canada is likely to cause some more shuffling in the states in the U.S. that border Canada and a reporter at Vox suggests that it may encourage a more rapid restructuring of the U.S. laws regarding weed. We are not clear whether U.S. President, Barack Obama, was aware of this move in Canada, and if he has any comments on the matter.
If legalization does come to Canada, it will be a an important milestone in changing the war on drugs, as Canada will be the first of the wealthy nations to move towards complete legalization. The U.S. and Mexico will be some of the first two countries to see some of the immediate changes, simply because of their proximity to Canada.
Hopefully we won’t have to wait until November to get some updates on how the process is going, but even if we do – it will be worth the wait.