The federal government may be moving toward legalizing marijuana within the next couple of years, but supporters of the move fear the stigma associated with cannabis use will not fade so quickly.
“I think because the stereotype of the stoner has been allowed to stay around, that’s what people expect,” said Chrystal Vondran, whose husband uses medical marijuana.
“Things will change over time, but I think it will take around five or 10 years.”
Vondran was one of hundreds of Calgarians who attended the city’s first HempFest Cannabis Expo at the Big Four Building on Saturday. There were stands laden with pipes and bongs, psychedelic clothing, organic soils and quick-grow LED lights.
But there were also licensed producers, dispensaries and representatives of medical clinics in attendance.
The Trudeau government announced April 20 that it would introduce new legislation in the spring of 2017, establishing a nine-member task force to gather input from provincial and municipal governments, indigenous people, and health and addiction experts. The panel is expected to report back to the government in November.