Cannabis in Canada How it went down on Legalization Day
Canadians were seen in the queue for the opportunity to purchase legal recreational cannabis for the very first time in the history.
This Wednesday was marked as a new era for all the Canadians when the use of cannabis was finally shown a green flag. Unfortunately, there were people who were worried about the decision of legalization as the use of cannabis may quickly spread among the youths.
This drastic modification in the policy was a turning point for the country because as of now it’s the second country in the world where the use of cannabis has become legal.
- The people and parties
- The policy
- Health officials raised their voices owning the concerns
- The PM
The first person to buy cannabis in Canada legally was Ian Power, of the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He was the first individual to be in the queue from midnight to buy cannabis. Speaking to the media, he stated that it was his dream to be the first one to buy a legal gram of cannabis in Canada.
Alex Smith, another person who stood for hours in the queue like others outside the BC Cannabis Store was seen standing with a brown paper bag in his hand.
The store, located in Kamloops is the only store in British Columbia that is legal. This province-operated store claimed this place to be clean, "west coast casual" interior and range of products.
He mentioned experiencing his first visit to this store to be surreal. He added that his adulthood was spent as a closet pot smoker. Although he was trying to hide since he was not consuming cannabis too often. Stepping into this store for buying legal cannabis gave him a relieved feeling because it wasn’t considered illegal anymore in the mind of the government.
The law was passed that smoking was permitted in public for only 17-hours after legalization. This means that the streets of Toronto were mostly drug-free all over the daytime. Majorly celebrations were held on the site of the private businesses.
A few coffee shops had transformed into a chilling lounge with lots of music, coffee and of course smoke. One such party was co-hosted by Robin Ellins, who owned a cannabis culture store named The Friendly Stranger. Ellins who was an advocate for legalization for a long time said, it was tough to believe that it happened.
Legalization is barely a free-for-all for individuals smoking pots. There are many aspects of consuming cannabis that shows it is yet illegal.
One of the conditions is that the users should be 18 to 19 while buying. According to the Province of Manitoba, $2,542 will be levied on those supplying cannabis to someone who is of younger age 19 or below. Canadians can grow only a limited number of cannabis plants that holds 30 grams (1 ounce) at a time in public. $2,542 will be levied on those who will be growing non-medical cannabis in a residence in Manitoba.
According to an editorial published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the profits made by the cannabis producers and tax revenues were directly inclining against Canadians health.
The Canadian Psychiatric Society showed concern against the Canadians under 25 years and the effect of them getting inclined towards cannabis. The evidence showed how it affected the attention, memory and the capacity to process thoughts among them when used regularly at an early age. Moreover, it also showed a growing risk of budding mental health conditions such as depression among them.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada further warned that the use of cannabis during pregnancy may show a negative impact on the fetus development in the user.
This news of legalization was heralded as a win for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He was the one who had promised for legalizing marijuana use in 2014. He had also agreed of smoking cannabis 5 – 6 times earlier. However, he says that he never enjoyed the smoking experience.
PM Trudeau is now more inclined towards living a healthy lifestyle by jogging and eating healthy. He has stated that he is not even fond of caffeine and therefore, he is in no intention of smoking cannabis.
The government will be replacing prohibition with a method of "strict regulatory control" with an outlook that cannabis will not be adopted by the minors. And therefore, there could be a reduction in health and social harms associated with its use.