Canada’s marijuana landscape continues to be as confusing as ever.
At the top, Justin Trudeau pushes forward with the process of legalization. Canada’s Prime Minister has accepted the report handed in by the marijuana task force and their suggested framework is scheduled to be made public by December 21st.
On the ground, however, marijuana dispensaries have cultivated in every major metropolis across the country, with each respective mayor and police force dealing with the issue in their own way.
Trudeau has not changed his point of view when it comes to “unlicensed” marijuana retailers and has repeatedly insisted that law enforcement take criminal action against them. But recent findings by Marijuana.com show that dispensaries across the great white north are either regulated, tolerated, or completely outlawed.
The City of Halifax, for example, does not license marijuana dispensaries, but they don’t overly enforce the law against the ones that exist either. Toronto remains a zero-tolerance area with bylaw officers and police shutting down pot shops however they can, and Victoria and Vancouver have both decided to license and regulate. Even the Mayor of Calgary has gone on record as saying a craft cannabis industry could very well be a good thing.
Despite the mayor’s dealing with the issues on the municipal level, Trudeau was clear again last week when he said to The Toronto Star, “We haven’t changed the laws. We haven’t legalized it yet. Yes, we got a clear mandate to do that. We’ve said we will. We’ve said we’re going to do it to protect our kids and to keep the money out of the pockets of criminals.”
Trudeau has received criticism by political opponents, patients who want better access to their medicine, and the cannabis community for not decriminalizing pot before legalizing it. Trudeau commented he is aware that “it’s a situation that is frustrating and I can understand people’s frustration on this.” He added that the Liberal Government is not legalizing marijuana for the cannabis enthusiasts, he is doing so to take it out of the hands of the “criminal” market.
Despite the fact that the criminal element to cannabis in Canada has been greatly exaggerated based on a study done over the summer, Trudeau is clearly standing firm. On December 21st, the findings for the task force will be made public. At that time, dispensaries will hope that their early Christmas present will be inclusion in the future framework of marijuana across Canada.
Cover Image Courtesy of Snopes
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