Article by Thomas Walkom, The Star
Cannabis becomes legal in Canada on Wednesday. Here are five things to keep in mind.
First, at one level this is a non-event. For the average Canadian, legalizing marijuana and its derivatives is somewhat more momentous than legalizing broccoli.
But not that much more.
As anyone who lives near a high school can attest, the sweet smell of marijuana has long been in the air. True, until Wednesday it will remain technically illegal to buy pot. But, as has been the case for years, users are rarely charged.
Under the soon-to-disappear old regime, those who sell cannabis illegally tend to face harsher penalties. That won’t change. What will change is that the number of legal dealers is set to grow exponentially.
Second and in spite of what governments say, legalization isn’t about protecting kids and fighting organized crime. It’s about fulfilling a Liberal campaign promise designed to portray Justin Trudeau as a bold, new leader.
Like Trudeau’s promise to run fiscal deficits, it was a politically risky pledge. But it succeeded, particularly among younger voters.