Nine states will be voting on marijuana legalization measures next week. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota will be determining medical legalization. While recreational use is the focus in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. All of this despite the continued haphazard scheduling of cannabinoids under federal law.
Twelve High Chicks thanks regular guest contributor Tracy Curley for this article.
As I walked into downtown Toronto’s Vapor Central, the home for the 2015 NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Canada National Conference, I was first struck by the diversity of the crowd in attendance: there were as always the usual suspects, but a few new faces were mixed in with those I knew but had never seen on this side of town before.
On October 19th, Canadians will — or at least should — head to the polls for our federal election. It is an intense fight: As of this writing the three top parties seem to be neck in neck if the polls can be believed. And there has been mudslinging, dirty tricks, and low blows from all sides. Not many people are happy about their electoral choices or the changes made to voting procedure, and so there is a lot of noise about strategic voting.
In June 2015, Vancouver’s municipal government took the bold action to bring in licensing requirements for the nearly 100 marijuana dispensaries that have opened up in the city.
This is a bold move because, first off, marijuana is still illegal in Canada unless you are part of the federal government’s medical marijuana program as a patient or licensed producer. Secondly, Vancouver is the first city in Canada to openly question the Feds’ stance on cannabis and take a position against it; even going so far as putting the blame on the Harper Conservatives, right where it belongs in this writer’s opinion, for creating the problem in the first place.
It was a beautiful sunny Wednesday morning and it was already getting warm by 9:30. I was making my way to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Canada Day. For the last fifteen-plus years marijuana enthusiasts, protesters, and other civic-minded people have gathered there to celebrate our nation’s birthday, to exercise their right to peaceful assembly, and to protest the unjust laws that prohibit the sale, growth, and use of marijuana by having an open cannabis farmers’ market, much like the 4/20 celebration held every April 20th: Cannabis Day.
If you had asked me a year ago if I thought that I would soon be involved in marijuana advocacy, chances are I would have laughed at you. That said, I have always been for removing prohibition on the drug. I’m a lifelong recreational smoker and I have never passed out in a ditch, slept with a stranger, or forgotten to feed my kids because I smoked a few joints. I figure, if alcohol is legal — considering its addictive qualities and health-care concerns — the fact that marijuana isn’t makes no sense. So when I was afforded this chance, I jumped at the opportunity to seek information and provide an insider’s view for the casual, recreational smoker. Because our voices will be the tipping point in full legalization.