U.S. Pot Nods May Bolster Canadian Effort

Article by Jim Bronskill, North Bay Nipissing News


Canada’s effort to craft a legalized marijuana regime could be boosted by the move of four more U.S. states to approve recreational use of the drug, says a Halifax law professor.

As it designs a new system, the Liberal government must address the fact Canada is a signatory to three international conventions that require criminalization of the production and possession of cannabis.

The nod this week to recreational pot use from voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada should give Canada more ammunition in the court of global legal opinion, said Archie Kaiser, a professor in the schools of law and medicine at Dalhousie University.

“It seems that Canada may be part of an emerging consensus,” Kaiser said in an interview.

The strength in numbers could make it easier for Canada argue that legalization is the best way to reduce harm, despite the international treaties that dictate prohibition of pot, he said.

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