“Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed, the inner light of universal benevolence broke out on every face in happy, friendly smiles.”
That’s Aldous Huxley in his 1932 novel Brave New World, describing “soma,” a drug provided by the state to help citizens cope in his fictional dystopia.
If you are looking for something to take the sting out of the current round of gloomy news, we now know the date that recreational cannabis will become legal in Canada: Oct. 17. What comes after remains unwritten.
Brave new pot economyLegalization is creating a whole new industry — perhaps a whole new economy. But even as pot generates new jobs and new companies and new stock market earnings, in both business and society as a whole there are plenty of potential pitfalls and many uncertainties.
Will an increase in the use of pot caused by its legalization encourage a burst of national creativity, as some studies have suggested? The results of scientific studies vary widely. As critics have warned, will legalization create a society plagued with the kind of soma-like apathy and lethargy that Huxley feared?
Whatever the social effect, the anticipation of legal highs has certainly caused a tidal wave of business euphoria as even former conservative pot critics rush in for a piece of the action.