What Canada's Cannabis Legalization Means for YOU!
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of all the legal cannabis news buzzing in the Great North. As of October 17th, Canada’s new Cannabis Act has taken effect, making it the 2nd nation in the world to allow legal consumption of recreational marijuana. With so many U.S. voters advocating for decriminalization and legalization of cannabis, and now our neighboring country going all in with its legalization, many of us have stopped asking “if” it’s going to happen, and started to question “when?”
What Canada’s Legalization Means
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has lobbied for the legalization of cannabis for a long time, mostly for the reason that it was already too accessible (and too dangerous) for younguns. On the day the bill was passed, he tweeted, “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept.”
Canada is the first member of the G-20 group (an international forum of the world’s 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies, of which the U.S. is a part) to end the prohibition of pot. This means that one of the major world powers has just rebelled against international treaties that bar legalization, and could possibly destabilize global prohibition regimes. It also means that it’s time for first-world countries to act against the War on Drugs by decriminalizing and regulating marijuana in a way that benefits their economies and their citizens.
How This Could Affect U.S. Pot-Prohibition Laws
The majority of American citizens are all for legalizing cannabis. Nine states have already made recreational use legal, and the growing support for medicinal marijuana has certainly swayed the opinions of many people who now see it as something that could really help people, instead of an overused and abused gateway drug. According to a survey conducted by the Center for American Progress and GBA Strategies, more than two-thirds of American voters support full legalization. An October 2017 Gallup poll showed 72% of Democrats, 67% of Independents and 51% of Republicans are in favor of legalization. So what’s the holdup?!
Well, Canada’s laws may be the push the U.S. government needs to get on board with federal cannabis legalization. Mexico is already eyeing legalization now that it’s legal from Alaska through Canada and down the West Coast, and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been pushing for his federal decriminalization bill, which now seems much more plausible thanks to our Northern neighbor. It seems widespread cannabis legalization is inevitable for the U.S., and as co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus Rep. Earl Blumenauer has stated, it “is quite exciting!”