Canadian Cannabis: Legalization And The Great White North
This past October 17th marked a historic occasion: the legalization of cannabis across the entire nation of Canada. While Canada, and especially British Columbia, have always been synonymous with quality cannabis and stoner culture, legalization marks the acceptance of marijuana use in mainstream culture. In this post, we’ll explore some of the policy and cultural implications.
The Betterment of Well People
The betterment of well people is a term that’s become popular lately. It refers to people who do not have a diagnosable condition or illness, but who want to enhance and deepen their quality of life. Western culture, in general, seems afflicted by a general dissatisfaction and it’s not so radical these days to suggest that smoking pot might help assuage that discomfort. The Canadian job market is extremely competitive and in the winter, there is a lack of natural light. Smoking cannabis or enjoying quality edibles could assuage some of that pressure.
In Ontario, where beer and liquor can only be sold through government vendors, it is no so absurd so accept that the government’s approval is needed for any and all sales of cannabis. In other provinces, however, it may seem ridiculous that all sales are reliant on contracts between the government and licensed suppliers. Already, this system has become problematic, with distribution and supply falling far short of the demand. Hopefully, over time, things will run more smoothly.
Currently, cannabis products are available in the form of oils and edibles. In addition to purchasing cannabis for recreational use, citizens of Canada can buy CBD (cannabidiol) dominant strains that treat anxiety and pain without the psychoactive effects of THC.
While October 17th only marked the legalization of flower (for smoking) and oil (can be ingested), 2019 will see the legalization of edibles. More great ideas from Olli Brands include several different types of cannabis tea and a flavour neutral cannabis powder that can be added to a gourmet meal of your own making, or simply poured into a drink. Look for these options next year.
One interesting aspect of the legalization process is that reserved grownups who never would have tried pot when it was illegal may find themselves trying a toke or an edible and enjoying it immensely. In an interview on the CBC, someone who had recently smoked pot said that they felt enlightened. That’s a pretty strong statement, although pot may help people loosen up a bit and develop a broader perspective.
Mid-October saw a frenzy of activity at the US border, where drug dogs were being trained and border guards were grilling Canadians on their drug use. Many Canadians are being cautioned to refrain from using their credit cards to purchase cannabis products, to clear their phones of texts referring to cannabis and to flatly deny having ever used cannabis when asked. It’s not clear yet how severe the US policy will be, but it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.
It will be interesting to see how the first year of legalization in the Great White North pans out. Perhaps by the time 2020, the entire country will be enlightened.