Canada knows how to do marijuana! Around the world BC weed (British Colombia) has a reputation that runs before it. And thanks to the election of a new government headed by a charismatic young leader, who is pro-legalization, Canada could be on the way to a canna-boom.
Justin Trudeau is the leader with the handsome good looks and came to power on a campaign pledge to legalize cannabis. He has even admitted that he has smoked weed since becoming an MP and told The Huffington Post, "I'm not someone who is particularly interested in altered states, but I certainly won't judge someone else for it. I think that the prohibition that is currently on marijuana is unjustified."
It is estimated that 1 million Canadians use cannabis (out of a population of 35 million) and that two out of three Canadians support decriminalization of possession.
Canadian Dispensary Boom leads to 'confusion'
Despite the 'Canada will Legalize' headlines, now that the Liberals are in Government they are in the position of confronting the reality of their pledge. According to some reports, the legal change isn't too high on their agenda either.
A February briefing by the Justice Minister gives no real indication of imminent change, her briefing document only repeating the campaign pledge to legalize simple possession of recreational marijuana and regulate its sale.
The people have different ideas however! Since the election victory, dispensaries are opening up all over the country and cannabis users feel like the Criminal Code should no longer apply to them.
Police Chief says Just Chill!
The Canadian media is increasingly focusing on the 'confusion' that now exists in the country. Although Canada has had a medical marijuana culture in place for a few years, the system is regulated by the government with licenses issued to medical growers.
In the past there have been several battles in courts over individuals' rights to grow and supply medical patients. Dispensaries are supposed to be part of this medical cannabis model, so the post-election boom (and an increasingly recreational vibe) is asking a few questions of the Government policy.
In a February interview, the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Clive Weighill, who looks the epitome of a white haired, straitlaced grandpa, started trending on Twitter after he commented on the dispensary situation. He said in an interview on Canada's CBC channel; "What we need right now, is just, I think, for everybody to chill and we'll see how this is going to take place".
Clearly, some people haven't got the patience to wait and that, for good or bad, could dictate the pace of change in Canada's journey to legalization.