Four Years Later: Four Reasons Why Canadian Legalization Sucks

It’s been four years since the Canadian government passed the Cannabis Act, and here are four reasons why Canadian cannabis legalization sucks. Now, you may think I’m just nitpicking here. But people are still receiving criminal records for cannabis. There still exists a peaceful “black market” of cannabis farmers. Even the large, licensed producers don’t like the current setup. And thanks to the “public health” approach, Canadian cannabis consumers can’t even get their hands on affordable, potent edibles. It’s been […]

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A Conservative Cannabis Act? 

Is it possible a Conservative Cannabis Act can fix the damage of Justin’s legalization? On October 17th, 2018, the government of Canada legalized cannabis with strict conditions on who could sell it, how to access legal products, and how much you could grow for personal use. This top-down public health scheme split BC Bud into two camps. Those who wanted to follow the rules and try to become legitimate. And those who saw the corporatization of their medicinal herb and […]

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What Does a Poilievre Win Mean for Cannabis?

Pierre Poilievre became the Conservative Party leader this past weekend, but what does this mean for cannabis? Conservatives in Canada have typically been supportive of the drug war. Like Liberals who believe guns, and not irresponsible people with guns, are the problem, Conservatives tend to hate drugs instead of blaming the irresponsible drug user. But […]

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Cannabis in Germany Amid a Russian Winter 

Will German cannabis legalization survive amid a Russian winter? With Russia controlling natural gas supplies, Germany is in an energy crisis. Does this drop cannabis legalization down the list of priorities? To the point, we won’t see legalization in Germany for at least another year? If German families can’t keep the lights on this winter, […]

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Three Reasons Canadian Cannabis Tourism Sucks

Are you planning a trip to Canada soon? Specifically, to experience legal cannabis? Think again. We’ve got three reasons Canadian cannabis tourism sucks. So let’s get into it. 3rd Reason Canadian Cannabis Tourism Sucks – You Can’t See Anything Canada’s federal government didn’t legalize cannabis because we’re all self-owning individuals with the right to bodily […]

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How Pierre Poilievre Will Ban Cannabis

Could future Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Poilievre ban cannabis without any parliamentary debate? When governments worldwide overreacted to the coronavirus, Canadians smoked record amounts of weed. It’s only natural that when placed under house arrest and fed propaganda about the end of the world, people felt the need to smoke away the stress. But so […]

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What Does Canada Day Mean To You?

What does Canada Day mean to you? I can tell you what it means for me.  Canada’s golden age was between 1840 and the 1900s, before World War 1. You may say, Caleb, Canada wasn’t a country in 1840.  But I’m afraid I have to disagree. When Upper and Lower Canada were united and given […]

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Amending the Cannabis Act

Amending the Cannabis Act? The Canadian government says they will review and amend it as soon as possible. But the deadline to begin the review is eight months passed. Scheduled for October 2021, Health Canada won’t comment on when the review will occur, only that any amending will come from a “credible, evidence-driven process.” Health […]

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British Columbia Plans 3-Year Decriminalization Test

British Columbia will decriminalize personal possession of small amounts of drugs for three years in an attempt to address the province’s crisis of overdose deaths. The Canadian federal government announced on Wednesday that it had approved a request from provincial officials to enact the plan, which will decriminalize possession of street drugs including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

“Eliminating criminal penalties for those carrying small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use will reduce stigma and harm and provide another tool for British Columbia to end the overdose crisis,” federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

In November, British Columbia officials requested an exemption from enforcing the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act for a period of three years. Under the plan, personal possession of up to a cumulative total of 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA will not result in an arrest, citation, or confiscation of the drugs. The limited drug decriminalization plan, however, will not apply at airports, schools and to members of the Canadian military.

“This is not legalization,” Bennett told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver. “We have not taken this decision lightly.”

Under the plan, possession of larger quantities of the drugs and the sale or trafficking will remain illegal. The limited decriminalization test program will begin on January 31, 2023, and continue until January 31, 2026.

British Columbia Overdose Deaths Soaring

British Columbia, which has been especially hard hit by the nationwide opioid crisis, declared a public health crisis in 2016 due to the spike in overdose deaths. The number of deaths has continued to climb since then, with a record 2,236 fatal overdoses reported last year in the province. According to provincial officials, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death among people aged 19 to 39.

Public officials hope that the decriminalization test plan will help reduce the stigma surrounding drug use and addiction and make it easier for people with substance misuse disorders to seek treatment.

“Substance use is a public health issue, not a criminal one,” said British Columbia’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson, adding that the exemption will help the officials address substance abuse issues in the province.

In the request to the federal government, British Columbia officials wrote that criminalizing drug use disproportionately impacts marginalized communities and fails to treat substance use disorders as a health issue. Federal drug policies, the province wrote, are failing their goals and making drug overdoses more likely.

“Criminalization and stigma lead many to hide their use from family and friends and to avoid seeking treatment, thereby creating situations where the risk of drug poisoning death is elevated,” provincial officials wrote in the request for the exemption.

The 2.5-gram limit set by the federal government is smaller than the maximum of 4.5 grams requested by British Columbia officials. In the request for the exemption submitted to Health Canada, the province wrote that limits that are too low have been ineffective and “diminish progress” on the goals of drug decriminalization.

“The evidence that we have across the country and [from] law enforcement … has been that 85 percent of the drugs that have been confiscated have been under 2 grams,” Bennett said to explain the lower limit, “and so we are moving with that.”

Public health advocates, local and provincial government officials and even some chiefs of police have asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to decriminalize possession of small quantities of drugs for personal use. In 2018, Canada legalized cannabis nationwide, a drug policy change that was supported by Trudeau.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is among the public officials who have championed efforts to decriminalize drugs. Each Monday, he gets an email reporting the number of drug overdoses and resulting deaths in the city. One week, the death of one of his family members was included in the report’s grim statistics. On Monday, the mayor learned that the decriminalization plan for British Columbia had been approved.

“I can tell you I felt like crying, and I still feel like crying,” he told the Washington Post. “This is a big, big thing.”

“It marks a fundamental rethinking of drug policy that favors health care over handcuffs,” Stewart added.

Bennet said that British Columbia’s plan to decriminalize personal possession of small amounts of drugs will be monitored as it progresses. If it succeeds, it could be a model for drug policy change nationwide.

“This time-limited exemption is the first of its kind in Canada,” she said. “Real-time adjustments will be made upon receiving analysis of any data that indicates a need to change.”

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Justinflation in Cannabis

Urban Dictionary defines Justinflation as “When a politician or government doesn’t think about monetary policy; and believes the budget will balance itself.” The name comes from Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau. In 2015, without even a recession or pandemic as an excuse, he plunged Canada’s finances into the red after nearly two solid decades of budget […]

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