With Canada legalizing cannabis tomorrow, there is a lot to celebrate as it marks an end to Canada’s cannabis prohibition regime that began almost 100 years ago, but it’s not all fun and games- in many ways Oct. 17 marks the beginning of Prohibition 2.0.
There have been many, many fails during this whole legalization process, and CLN covered a few of those in an earlier article. It’s been a very long and bumpy road just getting to this point, and when you can still face up to 14 years in jail over cannabis, we’ve still got a long, long way to go.
Here are 3 more of Canada’s biggest legalization fails, so far.
Fail 1: No edibles
While smoking a joint is one of the most iconic and common methods of consuming cannabis, there are health concerns over the effects of inhaling cannabis smoke. Edibles offer a safer and healthier way to utilize the effects and benefits of cannabis because there is no smoking involved since you eat it, which makes it so much easier on your lungs. There are many people who would prefer edibles because of this.
As Dana Larsen, one of Canada’s most prominent cannabis activists, previously told CLN in an interview:
“Although [cannabis] buds have a lot of medicinal value, the real medicinal value of cannabis lies in extracts, capsules, edibles, suppositories, and those kinds of products.”
Too bad edibles and all those other products will still be illegal in Canada, even after Oct. 17 because only certain CBD products and smokeable flowers are being legalized, making this a huge fail for so-called legalization.
While the government has promised to start looking into legalizing edibles sometime in 2019, if you look at how long it took the severely out-of-touch government to legalize cannabis flower, it doesn’t inspire much hope at all. Who can forget Sen. Nicole Eaton, who infamously said that “5 grams is about 4 tokes” (which honestly could count as a separate fail unto itself)?
— David Brown (@drowbb) March 22, 2018
As much as the government says their approach to legalization is about public health, it has stalled on arguably the healthiest method of consuming cannabis.
Fail 2: 14 years in jail over a “legal” substance?!
This helpful chart prepared by Trina Fraser, a partner at Brazeau Seller Law, was based on the first reading version of the Cannabis Act.
As you can see, in addition to fines that range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, you risk up to 14 years in jail for certain offences! Now is that really what you expected when Trudeau said he’d legalize cannabis in Canada?
Michael Bryant, a lawyer, former politician, and current executive director for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, wrote an excellent article about how Bill C-45 essentially recriminalizes cannabis, where he calls out, among other things, Canada’s insanely harsh sentences, saying:
“There are new, more punitive and wholly disproportionate maximum sentences for running afoul of BillC45. I know of no 14 year prison sentence arising from distribution of Smirnoff, let alone orchids.”
Fail 3: Canada’s licensed producer system
Many of these licensed producers are being run by former government insiders and cops who profited off of Prohibition and ruined countless lives in the process. Now that legalization is around the corner, they’re jumping into the cannabis industry and snatching up all those lucrative cannabis supply contracts (no doubt leveraging their cozy relationships with those in power) while doing everything they can to continue criminalizing the real growers and cannabis producers who have been doing this in Canada for decades.
You know, like the growers that put BC Bud on the map in the first place. But perhaps the LP’s are all rightfully worried about what this competition will do to their bottom lines as the OG growers actually know what they’re doing with skills built and passed down over generations.
LP’s haven’t been growing for very long at all and you can often tell from the irradiated, bunk weed they often produce. This is an example of crony capitalism in its purest form.
Crony capitalism: an economy in which businesses thrive not as a result of risk, but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between a business class and the political class.
Lawyer Michael Bryant, in his previously mentioned article, also called out the legal regime and the stinking hypocrisy of the cops and politicians who criminalized hundreds of thousands of Canadians for over a century who are now suddenly launching their own cannabis companies in the hopes of making a quick buck.
“Be that as it may, legalization has launched a beautiful friendship between cannabis capitalism, retired police captains, and government treasuries….
Ex-cons and addicts find no relief in this bill, which rewards heretofore opponents of legalization with riches piled upon their taxpayer pensions, but nothing, nothing, nothing by way of new legal or economic opportunities for those punished by cannabis prohibition to date.”
And as much as these Prohibitionists may claim they’ve had a change of heart because they’ve seen the medical benefits of cannabis first-hand, how many of them do you think are calling for cannabis amnesty for those whose lives they ruined?
Take one guess. By the way, if you support cannabis amnesty in Canada, sign the petition here!
Featured image courtesy of Verp.
Canadian Civil Liberties Association: Bill C45: Re-Criminalizing Cannabis.
Government of Canada: Legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis: the facts.