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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By now I’m sure nearly everyone in any civilized country has heard of legalized medical marijuana. It became legal here in Canada in 2001: a holder of an Exemption 56 from the federal government was exempt from criminal prosecution pertaining to the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana (but not purchase) for personal use as laid out in Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.