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.
As we move toward the legalization of marijuana the government now has a place on its website, under Consultations in Health Services and Systems, allowing you to have your two cents worth until August 29th. It’s a five-part discussion paper and legalization questionnaire where you can add scientific documents, give your personal (expert) opinion, and answer a number of multiple choice questions.
It’s become painfully obvious that the Liberal government’s legalization scheme is becoming just that, a scheme, to completely take over marijuana sales in Canada. Think about that for a minute: just how much weed is sold here? To be honest, in the market that exists today I’m afraid to even try to guess how much pot is sold in a week, never mind in a month. But one thing that does seem clear is that the government wants no part of the cannabis community in the soon-to-be legal market.
It was only six short months ago when good feelings were in abundance after the Conservatives’ sound trouncing at the hands of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. Thoughts were turned to what a legal cannabis market might look like. Yet here we are six months later and it’s starting to feel like the Liberal days of old.
The appalling reality of the promise of legalization has come to haunt many of us. Since the new government took over in November, Canadian Medical Cannabis Partners Society have repeatedly inquired about the promise to legalize and how it affects medical users. Would the Canadian Liberals keep the MMPR despite Allard’s expected win against its restrictions on personal growing?
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 was a monumental day in Canadian cannabis action with the long-awaited decision in the Allard case. It was a fight that saw medical marijuana users taking the Canadian government to court for around the tenth time in fourteen years, and each time part or all of the medical marijuana program has been found unconstitutional. This time the fight was over the right of patients to grow their own marijuana or have a designated grower rather than be forced to buy it from a small handful of government-sanctioned Licensed Producers.
Amazing! We did it Canada, we voted for change this election with 68% of Canadians stepping out and making their voices heard. And more, the youth of Canada spoke. I couldn’t be prouder to be a Canadian today!
I volunteered for the Liberal candidate in my riding and met with Don Johnston and his wife Jeanette early in his campaign. I threw the question out about cannabis at him and asked what he thought about gardens and dispensaries. His answer was very much what I wanted to hear: ‘Marijuana has been beneficial medically for years and the science is there, never mind the fact it is safer than alcohol and is prohibited and that is ridiculous. People shouldn’t get criminal records and lives ruined over a bit of pot.’
Last week’s election brought hope and possibilities for many Canadians including — especially after the last decade under Stephen Harper — those of us with an interest in a legal marijuana industry.
But the reasons for this shared interest vary almost as much as they conflict.
After nearly a decade of Harper’s Conservatives and a ridiculously long election cycle, a new political age dawns on Canada, a new majority Liberal government steps up, and a new Prime Minister takes the reins.
Whether this shift in control was due to strategic voting, a true demonstration of belief in Justin Trudeau, or a reaction to the racist, American-style fearmongering of the Conservative’s Islamophobic campaign, the result is the same: Canadians can only be pushed so far and Canada has the opportunity to be not new but itself, once again.
It’s been 44 years that I’ve been fighting for legalization for the odd-numbered, serrated leaf we know as marijuana. It’s a long, drawn-out, bloody war that is heavily influenced by racism and a desire to control morality with roots back to the beginnings of the Church.
But I get off topic when I’m smoking weed, back to legalization. With recent developments now both the cities of Vancouver and Victoria are going forward with steps to licence and regulate the dispensaries that have been opening up faster than fireworks stands at Halloween. At the time of writing Vancouver has ninety operating dispensaries and there are six in Victoria, the capital of the province.
Someone who believes (1) any problem can be fixed by smoking marijuana, and (2) any activity is more enjoyable whilst stoned.
We often see medical marijuana users smoking a joint in newspapers and news sites as more and more people stand up for their medical needs and rights. But what about the rest of the cannabis community?