Late Tuesday evening, the Canadian government offered up a stunner: America’s northern neighbor will become the first G7 nation – and only the second in the world – to legalize recreational marijuana. Later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the much-maligned plant will be fully legal and available for retail sales on October 17th of this year.
Unlike other initiatives, this new Canadian weed law is utterly groundbreaking in its scope and magnitude. For starters, Canada’s upper chamber overwhelmingly voted in favor of recreational cannabis, with nearly two-thirds of legislators supporting the proposal. More importantly, the Canadian weed law permits marijuana sales throughout the entire nation, and through multiple channels, including the mail.
That’s right – the freshly-approved Canadian weed law permits marijuana by mail!
Of course, heavy restrictions apply. Canada’s federal government has set a minimum purchasing age limit of 18 years, though some provinces are electing a slight bump-up to 19 years. That also coincides with the alcohol-drinking age at certain locales.
Also, Canadian weed laws dictate that the packaging’s surface area be mostly covered in health-related warning labels. It limits the creative expression companies can use for marketing purposes. In addition, cannabis sent via mail requires proof-of-age upon delivery – no exceptions.
Finally, with the recent Canadian weed law passing, most botanical enthusiasts’ needs are covered, except for edibles. The federal government needs additional time to produce edible warning labels and most likely other restrictions and policies.
That said, it’s an overwhelmingly positive view on marijuana, especially compared to the U.S. Despite the American public warming to cannabis legalization, the U.S. government still classifies it as a Schedule I drug. And to that, Canadians can say, your loss.
Thanks to recreational marijuana legalization, Canada opens up new economic doors that were previously inaccessible, and therefore, untaxable. Let’s face reality – people who want to get high are going to get high. It’s the same reason why Prohibition never worked in the U.S. But at least in this case, the Canadian weed law can regulate marijuana access, and earn a strong revenue stream along the way.
The only thing that’s changed in the societal equation is that potheads can now be more open about their life choices. But to assume that prior to the Canadian weed law that individuals abstained from cannabis is completely ridiculous. The cat’s out of the bag; you might as well tax it.
Fortunately for the Canadian economy, the government will do just that. Obviously, it’s not an end-all, be-all panacea, but it’s a rational approach to a previously irrational policy.