We have entered 2017 with the expectation that marijuana would be legalized. Now, with the smoking age put at the ripe age of 21, teenagers and just-turned eighteen baby-adults now face a cruel reality. All tobacco products are now placed in the same unobtainable category as alcohol, however, to the horror of many under-21 smokers, the legal smoking age has now been pushed just a few years out of their reach.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced the idea of completely legalizing marijuana for consumer use. If approved, Canada would be the second nation to do so. Uruguay became the first nation in the world to categorize marijuana as a legal consumer product in South America in December 2013. This system allows the reduction of illegal drug dealers and hidden farms, in turn granting licenses to private industries and regulating distribution for one dollar per gram in pharmacies. By the middle of around this time in 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau hopes to begin legal distribution. However, there are still controversial issues remaining.
Canadian districts will need to figure out exactly how much will be sold within specific boundaries decided by each district. Just like breathalyzers for alcohol, there will be one engineered specifically for marijuana intake levels. Medical critics are also concerned with the denitrifying effects of the drug on young adults under the age of 25. “We do accept that important work remains to be done,” Bill Blair, lawmaker and former Toronto police chief, stated. There is absolute no sense of ambiguity within Trudeau’s bill: Marijuana will be available to all consumers, varying on the district’s own restrictions and age requirements. At most, civilians would only be allowed to carry about an ounce, or 30 grams at max. There can only be a maximum of four plants in households, however Trudeau believes that most will just go straight to the pharmacy instead. Trudeau’s promised delivery of his bill seeks to wipe out illegal drug dealing, growing, or exporting outside of legal channels.
With the eventual appearance of legal marijuana shops, the 2015 cluster of illegal marijuana havens that had risen will most likely not be allowed to conduct any business once there is a certain distribution building set for selling marijuana. It has been decided that both the drug and alcohol would not be sold in the same stores, due to the possible destructive capabilities of combining both. Canada leads strict regulations on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. The arising issue on medical and consumer marijuana consumption, leads right to the labor industry, specifically within the construction business where laborers must be on alert at every moment around heavy, expensive, and dangerous equipment. Marijuana use has always been an immediate reason for firing any construction employee, yet employers must prove if they truly were impaired. “We are not against legalization; we’re just interested in making sure that thresholds and proper technologies are in place,”stated Gilbert Brulotte, former chairman of the Canadian Construction Association.
Trudeau’s bill is in heavy violation of three major U.S policies. However, Canada promises to lead strict regulations on their product, not stopping at implementing heavy punishments or consequence if there’s any illegal consumption by minors, illegal trafficking of marijuana products past Canadian borders into the U.S,. Critics state that it is great from an industrial perspective, yet society may not be ready for a widespread legalization of the drug.
By: Azia Lualhati