What Canada’s legalization of marijuana means for travelers

Elias Hubbard
October 19, 2018

"Seeing cannabis shoppers wait in lines as opposed to take the traditional easy illegal supply route is refreshing and bodes well for the recreational market in Canada", he said.

In total, Statistics Canada says 5.4 million Canadians would buy cannabis from legal dispensaries this year - about 15 percent of the population.

Universal healthcare and legal weed?

The proposal does not cover people convicted of cultivation or distribution, and it puts the onus on marijuana offenders to apply for sealing instead of doing it automatically.

Legalisation fulfils a 2015 promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who stated that the old laws have been ineffective in combating the problem of drugs in the country. The change raises questions for USA travelers eager to hightail it across the border and light one up.

He argued that the legalisation will help in reducing drug use among minors and will drive out the criminals who sell drugs from the market. So is the federal government, with tax revenue that could reach as high as $400 million a year.

Curtis Hrdlicka is the first customer to purchase legal cannabis at Fire and Flower in Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 17, 2018.

Alam did acknowledge that cannabidiol (CBD) in medical cannabis does have medicinal uses such as helping nausea from chemotherapy. Canadian provinces have been preparing for months to handle the aftereffects of legalisation. Public awareness campaigns are in place and information is readily available to combat such issues. The government hopes this legislation will cut the $8 billion black market in half by the end of the first year.

Ontario, home to Canada's most populous city, Toronto, will have no physical stores until April 2019, due to a change to the province's retail model by a new provincial government.

One concern to have arisen is whether the police are prepared for a possible spike in drug driving.

He compared "Big Cannabis" to "Big Tobacco" and warned that legalization will mean the rise of large cannabis corporations that don't have an interest in public health.

Thousands of Canadians lined up in front of over 100 private and government stores Wednesday, including Corey Stone, who arrived just before 4 a.m.at a government store in downtown Montreal.

Selling, of course, is being more strictly regulated, and the country has been careful to modify existing intoxication laws to include marijuana intoxication as well.

Test case. Canada is the second country in the world to legalize cannabis; Uruguay was the first.

"If... a Canadian is coming to the United States and it has nothing to do with the marijuana industry or the proliferation of the industry, that person would generally be deemed admissible", CBP officer Christopher Perry said in a press conference near the Canadian border, as cited by Al Jazeera.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning federal law enforcement considers it a substance with "no now accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse".

The stance posed a new threat to the already extensive cross-border exchanges of supplies, technology and investment in the marijuana sector.

Another 13 states have decriminalized the use of cannabis, meaning possession offenses usually result in fines, not jail time.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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