Little Known Ways Countries Are Legalizing Cannabis

AdobeStock by Rick Proctor

Slowly the United States government has been accepting Cannabis. As we’ve learned from history it all comes down to who we vote for. Many countries have seen success in legalizing cannabis. Should the United States jump on the bandwagon?

In Canada, during the 1800s, the Canadian government supplied farmers with hemp seeds to cultivate for industrial purposes. Around 1920, the government introduced the Act to Prohibit Improper use of Opium and other drugs. Many years later in the 1970s, cannabis still being illegal, the Gastown Riot in Vancouver, British Columbia took place. What started as the first “smoke-in,” to protest strict marijuana laws soon turned into a battle. Police were accused of using excessive force, 79 were arrested and 38 were charged. Sound familiar? Things began to change in the 2000s when the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations Act (MMAR) was introduced.

AdobeStock by Kimzy Nanney
AdobeStock by Kimzy Nanney

Canadian court of appeal declared prohibiting the use of marijuana for medical purposes unconstitutional. One step forward, two steps back. In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper initiated mandatory prison sentences for dealers and growers. Despite the 0% death rate and environmental benefits of cannabis. 2014 was a big year for medical marijuana patients, that’s when physicians were able to start prescriptions! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced cannabis would be officially legal October 17th 2018! Voting played a huge roll in the legalization of marijuana, don’t forget to vote!

January 2019 online sales via provincial and territorial governments began. Legal cannabis sales in Canada are treated a lot like alcohol sales. It is dependent on the province, some provinces will have different laws and regulations. In Quebec, you must be 18+ to purchase cannabis. Also in Quebec, it is illegal to cultivate cannabis for personal use. In Ontario, cannabis is 19+ and one person can carry and share up to 30 grams of dried flower. As well, each household can grow up to 4 plants for personal use. Liquor License Board of Ontario (LLBO) is the sole vender and as of April 1st 2019, retail stores are open. Private sectors can operate while LLBO is the wholesaler. Municipalities can opt-out of retail stores if desired. The first Toronto stores Honeypot and Nova Cannabis are both located on Queen St West. Although I tried to visit both, the line at Honey Pot stretched down 2 blocks so we decided to go to the newer, much larger Nova Cannabis that had no wait. The experience was great, quick and painless. The employees seemed to know what they were doing and had lots of insight on products. The store was clean and easy to navigate. Everything was reasonably priced and it was similar to going to a liquor store but with a modern design.