Cannabis Countdown: Paradoxes and Peculiarities of Legalizing Pot

Article by Catherine Solyom, Montreal Gazette

Cannabis countdown: Paradoxes and peculiarities of legalizing pot A look at what parents, schools and businesses in Quebec will face Oct. 17 when marijuana law takes effect. CATHERINE SOLYOM, MONTREAL GAZETTE Dried cannabis plants are sorted at a plant in south-west Quebec on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. Quebec’s Hydropothecary Corp. says it has expansion plans to increase its production capacity to 108,000 kilograms per year of dried cannabis through acquisition of new land for new greenhouse construction, making it one of the top cannabis producers in the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang ORG XMIT: CPT120

This fall, the CEGEP de l’Outaouais will become the first college in Quebec and one of only two in Canada to offer a degree in how to grow and harvest cannabis. Students in Gatineau will also learn how to turn it into oil or brownies, and navigate the complex and ever-changing legal framework around the plant.

But they won’t be able to touch the stuff in class. That will still be illegal.

It’s just one of the many paradoxes that consumers, parents, schools and businesses in Quebec will face starting Oct. 17 as Canada becomes the first major economy in the world to fully legalize marijuana. (It has been legal in Uruguay since 2013).

Three months before M-Day, we look at some of the potholes on the road ahead.

A dis-jointed government

It takes two to five minutes to walk 150 metres, or about 14.5 seconds to run it — if you’re Usain Bolt.

Under Quebec’s new cannabis law, that’s the minimum distance required  between the province’s new government-run cannabis stores — to be known as the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) — and any school or daycare in Montreal.

While the minimum distance in the rest of the province is 250 metres, an amendment was made to account for Montreal’s high urban density.

For educators grappling with how to discourage vulnerable youths from getting high before or during school, it’s not far enough.

Read the full article here.

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