Canada's system for the regulation of marijuana control has failed miserably, with no signs of reduction in sales or damage caused by the drug. More legislatures are leaning toward legalizing and strictly regulating, and thereby reducing the number of people harmed by it. They are also looking at the possibility of the potency of cannabis being regulated due to government control.
Canada has the highest consumption rate of marijuana in the entire world. At least 40% of citizens have used cannabis at one time or another in their lifetime. High school kids come in at 22%, and young adults weigh in at 37% to 40%. Various resources claim these rates are higher than in other areas around the world.
Controlled legalization might be the only avenue Canadians have to address their growing problem. This would include government control of weed sales, banning any form of marketing or advertising, a minimum age and a reasonable price structure that is standardized. One of the concerns relates to pricing, if too steep, it will send people to the black market, and too low a price would be moot. Many believe that in order to control marijuana, they must legalize it and take it out of the hands of drug dealers. The government would also be able to control the quality of marijuana and its potency.
Canada already has a plan in the works that would regulate licensed growers for both medicinal and recreational marijuana. They have already seen a flood of applications by potential growers wanting licensing. How many vendors they will allow is yet to be addressed.
Whatever plan they finally come up with, it must go through various federal bureaucracies, and must then be approved by Parliament. Canada's biggest concern is making sure not to follow in the footsteps taken in Colorado. Though the state has been keeping a lid on any issues, Canadians see Colorado as a little too much on the wild side for their liking.
A good many citizens are not going to embrace a full legalization, but realize something needs to happen in order to control the number of illegal sales, and the safety of their citizens. They are also concerned about the number of people who lack medical treatment when they are affected by the drug in one negative way or another.
Though not held by most, there are quite a few members in the medical world that believe marijuana can cause serious addiction, along with severe damage to the lining of one's lungs.
CAMH Speaks Up:
The Center for Addiction and Mental Health is pushing for legalization as a way to address problems that have arisen with the illegal sale of the substance. Although they are backing the legalization, they also expect very strict guidelines and regulations within the final package.
As the laws stand right now, there are not any positive results to report. Teens smoking marijuana, and are going to the same dealers that also sell higher-end, more dangerous drugs. This is a major concern among parents, who wonder whether their kids will stop using grass, but pick up another drug that is far more dangerous .
Around The World:
Possession of grass is illegal in most countries around the world. Countries do vary on the subject of small quantities, and the level of criminalization or decriminalization. The Netherlands, Uruguay, Colorado, and Washington states are in favor of marijuana legalization, with Uruguay being the first country to legalize its sale.
Medicinal use of marijuana is legal in Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, and some states within the U.S. The federal government (U.S.) has a ban on all sales and possession of the drug, and will enforce all laws if one is in possession of, or using marijuana in federal buildings, parks, etc. The U.S. Government has also limited the amount of research involving medicinal marijuana. Many study groups and institutions feel their hands are tied, but believe there is a significant need to look into the benefits of marijuana's medicinal use.
There are a few countries in which possession can lead to serious jail time, and selling marijuana can lead to a life sentence or even execution. These areas are in East Asia and Southeast Asia.
Canada has a lot of work ahead of itself , including reviewing, rewriting, and then delivering a solid plan to Parliament before anything significant will happen. As with Colorado and Washington, there will be those in favor of the legalization and those against it. If Canada can put together a significant, conscientious package, most people will welcome changes that will fix what is obviously broken, and keep the money out of the hands of the drug lords.
How Marijuana Legalization could change Canada
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