Cannabis has been misunderstood until very recently. The past couple of decades have unfolded revolutionary evidence of the role cannabinoids play in our bodies. And while today’s society adapts to that notable presence, it gets criticized among its objectors and becomes more researched by its admirers.
The Liberal government is actually soliciting feedback on the proposed regulation of cannabis in Canada. When we first gained access to the Cannabis Act there were a lot of questions, and blurry suppositions. And everyone had their own reasons for being concerned.
So now we have our say, until January 20th, 2018. But in order to have legal cannabis before July 2018 the government won’t radically alter anything. And they won’t release any more drafts of the regulations. So this is pretty much it.
Here’s the page to start from: Consultation on the Proposed Regulation of Cannabis.
I host a weekly podcast (Cannabis and Coffee with Tamarijuana) that brings experts and patients together. I have been doing this now for just over a year. And what I hear in most every conversation — be it with an advocate, activist, doctor, etc. — is worry about over-regulation. This recreational legislation by the Canadian government is still going to leave patients with gaping holes in their medical program. Patients still fear losing the plant counts and prescriptions.
It can come as no surprise that regional governments are tackling the issue of legalization with drastically different plans. Those differences were rather the point; the federal bill mandates cannabis legalization only so far.
The framework allows local governments to decide on many aspects of legalization after considering their citizens’ desires. After all, each province and territory has vastly different needs, views, and cultures. What’s good for Saskatchewan isn’t necessarily right for Newfoundland & Labrador. What we achieve in BC is vastly different, I hope, to what Ontario is getting.
The first Global Marijuana March was started by Dana Beal in New York, USA in 1998. It raised awareness both of the harms of prohibition throughout the world and how it should end. It has now grown to over 900 worldwide participating cities — as a festival in some places — and is celebrated by millions.
But not everyone lives in large cities. Sometimes your town doesn’t have a GMM. Sometimes you live in a place that isn’t pro-pot. What do you do then? Start your own community GMMs. I did … twice!
After taking a few days to digest the Liberals new Cannabis Act — all 131 pages of it — and then taking several more days to get over my initial anger and disbelief, it became pretty clear to me what happened. Justin Trudeau and some of his buddies were sitting around one night enjoying some wine, or perhaps some reefer, and someone joked “Why don’t we run the cannabis market?” And everyone laughed, but then the idea of just how to do it took hold.
The future of recreational legal weed in Canada seems inevitable, if still too limited. While activists chafe at the regulations, the hope remains that a new legal market will make the industry better. But better for whom? Not for most people with cannabis convictions who were instrumental in pushing for legalization.
The “Cannabis Act” is still a vague and confusing document; it’s impossible to know what the government intends. From industrial farming to craft growers, the Liberals claim to see them all having a place. But who will actually grow when a “reasonable suspicion” of having broken a cannabis law is enough to deny a licence? Not the cannabis community.
4/20 2017 was a unique day in Canada. Just a week after the federal Liberals revealed legislation for recreational marijuana, we should have only been celebrating. Instead, advocates and activists were also protesting the ridiculous restrictions this bill introduces. It treats marijuana as more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, encourages a big-business oligarchy, and won’t protect kids or drive out organized crime.
The East and West Kootenays in British Columbia have been at the forefront of craft cannabis growing for decades in Canada. With the new regulations ahead, what will they mean for this area and its growers?
The Kootenays and Craft Cannabis Growers
After a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, March 14th with our MP, Wayne Stetski (NDP), it was loud and clear that the regulations the Liberals are pushing forward will not work for this area.
Harmless plant, better than the alternative, threat to children, cash crop…. With so many viewpoints, which should dominate the discussion of cannabis in Canada? What is the reason to grow — and legalize — marijuana in our country? What’s the point of legal pot?
When the Toronto Police Services (TPS) pulled off Project Gator, they were making a statement. I objected to the restriction of the nascent free market already established. The one that could guide the government through recreational legalization. But a reader reminded me that the government never promised a free market. They won based on a promise of regulation and restriction. To remove profits from organized crime and keep marijuana out of the hands of children.
When you’ve been a cannabis activist for well over a decade, the only time you expect to hear your name dropped at a police press conference it will be followed by the words “has been charged with.”
On a morning in late January, I was drinking coffee and watching a Toronto Police Services press conference. I was getting agitated by the misinformation as they spoke in regards to a rash of recent violent dispensary robberies in the city. And then, I was surprised to hear my name mentioned.