Canada Legalizing Pot in 2018
Canada’s marijuana industry has gone from one of the biggest black markets, to legalizing medical cannabis, and is now in the process of legalizing recreational use. Canadians are expecting marijuana to be legalized by July 1, 2018.
A little history
Marijuana was prohibited in 1923 and was barely heard or known of throughout the country. During the 1960’s cannabis became more well-known and the maximum first offense charge for a small amount of possession was a $1,000 fine and 6 months in prison. At one point, the consequence for possession and trafficking was deportation.
In 2001 medical marijuana was finally legalized for people who suffered from HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. The legalization of medical marijuana brought many Canadians to the realization that pot can actually be beneficial.
Canada has been known to have some of the best grows
Their cannabis is so “chronic” that many people have been smuggling pot into the U.S. Like Nate Norman, also known as “Cannabis Kid”, who became a ring leader among a group of marijuana smugglers. Norman was the average pot smoker, who lived in a small town in northern Idaho, until he came across a batch of marijuana that was grown in Canada.
Norman and a friend took a trip into British Columbia, Canada, found a batch of weed, and snuck it through the un-watched area of the woods. -Smart right? The cannabis that they brought back was a hit. They described the Canadian weed as being similar to “Cali Mexican weed.” Nate then gathered more friends and began making more trips through the woods.
They smuggled roughly 17,000 pounds of marijuana and generated nearly 38 million. Within two short years they spent about 1.3 million on parties, cars, houses, and much more. Authorities were aware of Norman and his crews activity, but didn’t make much of it until a local rival drug dealer was found dead. After being raided, Normans friends all turned on each other, all pointing fingers at Norman. In 2004 Nate Norman was charged with drug trafficking and sentenced to 12 years. The rest of the crew received lesser charges and shorter sentences.
Canada’s approach on legalizing marijuana
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supports the idea that legalizing cannabis will protect kids. He recently stated in an interview that the “current system is not protecting our kids. It’s easier for an underage Canadian, a teenager, to buy a joint then it is for them to get their hands on a bottle of beer.” His goal is to make it more difficult for teens to access marijuana. Stating “whatever you may think about the relative harms of marijuana versus alcohol or cigarettes- marijuana’s not good for the developing brain.”
He also expects to see a downfall in marijuana’s black market. He states that “criminal organizations and street gangs are making billions of dollars every single year off of the sale of marijuana which they then funnel into other criminal activities.”
The plan is to create a system that will eliminate criminal organizations, and teens access to cannabis, by putting marijuana through a “regulated and overseen frame.” Canada will regulate “everything from THC levels to use of pesticides.” With the government having control over marijuana growth and sales Canada will be able to keep marijuana under quality control, put cannabis tax revenues towards public education, health and addiction services.
Instead of legalizing cannabis state by state, like the U.S. is slowly doing, Canada will be legalizing marijuana within the entire country. Canada will set the legal age of marijuana purchase at 18 years old, which of course can be raised by each province. They will also allow people to grow up to 4 plants per household.
Studies have estimated that the legalization of cannabis can generate a revenue of roughly $675 million by 2018. Legalizing marijuana will eliminate the tens of thousands of arrests made yearly and can also eliminate the black market which is connected to cartels filled with violence and death. Their research has also shown that access to cannabis will lower opioid addiction and overdoses.