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Globe And Mail Polls The Canadian Population On Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana legalization has obviously been a hot topic throughout Canada and we here at Legalite have remained diligent in covering it, particularly in recent weeks. The issue was a cornerstone of Justin Trudeau’s campaign for Prime Minister and basically secured him the youth vote, so he kind of has to follow through if he wants to have any credibility. To his credit, the wheels seem to be very much in motion at the moment and, while it still may take a while to iron out all the details, weed should be a-ok legally within the next few years.

So what does the general population think about all this right now? A new poll from the Globe and Mail and Nanos Research aimed to find out, with the results being fairly typical of how liberal Canadians have become in response to the Harper era. Here were some of the findings:

  • 68% of the population support or somewhat support marijuana legalization.
  • 30% of the population oppose or somewhat oppose marijuana legalization.
  • British Columbia had the highest degree of support with 75% while the Prairies had the lowest with 55%.
  • 51% are concerned that legalization will lead to increased drug use by people under 21; 45% do not think this.
  • 57% don’t believe that marijuana is a gateway drug, while 40% think it is.
  • 44% want marijuana to be sold at dedicated dispensaries for the drug, while pharmacies were at 43% and liquor stores were at 36% (more than one answer were allowed for this)
  • 49% want legalized marijuana to be homegrown while 48% do not.

So while there was always going to be some naysayers, it’s pretty apparent that a majority of the population is now in favour of legalization. Although it’s bizarre how many people think that it will lead to increased drug use among minors, as if the way things are now is stopping kids from getting high. And if I were a parent, I would be more concerned about my kid getting drunk while underage anyway.

Source: Globe and Mail

Image source: CBC

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Marijuana Legalization is Already Creating Chaos in Canada

Justin Trudeaus Liberal Government

Canada is on the path to legalized marijuana, thanks to the Liberal government led by the much-adored Justin Trudeau. And yet, the nation is already in a state of confusion over marijuana legalization.

Officiated in a public mandate letter sent to the Minister of Justice, Trudeau stated that the government will work towards creating “a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.”

Even though the Prime Minister of Canada is on board with the legalize marijuana train and the government plans to begin a consultation process on the topic in the coming months, nothing has truly changed.

Marijuana is still technically illegal in Canada, but given the Prime Minsters words and the publicized stance of the government on marijuana legalization, something of a legal grey zone has been created, at least in the eyes of certain citizens.

Cannabis shops are popping up at a new-found rate, with many actively selling marijuana to patrons who don’t necessarily have a medical license.

Weedz Glass & Gifts, a head shop based in B.C., which has recently expanded to Ontario with Quebec on the horizon, is probably the largest perpetrator of such actions. The store has been known to sell to those without a medical license, and even minors, which has raised a bunch of red flags.

Don Briere, owner and operator of the franchise doesn’t really understand what the problem is. In his view, since the government is already working towards legalizing marijuana, then there isn’t anything illegal with what his stores are doing.

Some Canadians agree and are already beginning to grow and sell their own marijuana, believing the practice to be entirely on the level.

President of the Canadian Police Association, Tom Stamatakis, has experienced this first hand. When interviewed by the Globe & Mail, Stamatakis related how there are “citizens who are convinced or have allowed themselves to be convinced that marijuana is now legal and it’s okay to not only use it, but to manufacture and sell it.”

But in actuality, this legal “grey zone” doesn’t exist. The Canadian Criminal Code remains unchanged, and until the Liberal government actually enacts any changes, marijuana is still illegal.

Despite all of this confusion, however, the Liberal government doesn’t feel the need to rush themselves. Liberal representatives have gone on the record to state that the party will take all the time necessary to ensure the legalization process is done correctly. They were sure to note that all existing laws are still enforced, regardless of what may happen in the future.

And yet, even when the consultation process held between the federal and provincial governments on marijuana legalization is done, the mechanics of enforcing whatever decisions are made will be even more difficult to hammer out.

Provinces, and even municipalities, may have starkly varying approaches on marijuana laws, which could create more confusion for both political leaders and citizens alike.

So while things are a bit chaotic and confusing now, Canada is probably in for much of the same as the nation heads into the age of legalized marijuana.

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Congress Repeals Meat Labelling Law After Canada’s Retaliation Measure

Last week, the U.S. Congress passed a new legislation that repealed a controversial meat labelling law, known as COOL, that had been causing problems between Canada, Mexico and U.S. trade relations.

Canada and Mexico argued that the measure was “nothing more than thinly disguised protectionism”. The World Trade Organization had also repeatedly ruled in favour of both countries. The WTO stated that the law gave U.S. products an unfair advantage over Canadian and Mexican ones and that the labelling provisions on beef and pork products violated international trade rules. The WTO gave both countries the right to impose $1 billion in punitive tariffs on various U.S. products. The U.S. products targeted by the retaliation included a wide variety of industries other than the beef and pork industries and included products like apples, rice, maple syrup, wine, jewelry, office chairs, wooden furniture, and mattresses.

Before congress passed the bill, there was tension between Canada and the U.S. with some American politicians supporting COOL while Canada was expected to move forward and retaliate if COOL was not repealed. U.S. President Barack Obama signed the bill on Friday, December 18, thus completing the legislative process.

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay called it “a great day for Canada”. Freeland also stated that “this is a real vindication of the power and significance of the WTO dispute-resolution mechanism, which has secured a real win for Canada” and that “this is a decision that will have a real and immediate benefit to the Canadian economy”. Both ministers also thanked Canadian diplomats and the American politicians and industries that supported repealing the measure.

For more information on this story, read on here and here.

Featured image and story source: CBC

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Canada Could See Legalization Of Marijuana Under Trudeau

Justin Trudeaus Libera

Could marijuana be legalized in Canada under Justin Trudeau’s leadership? Some legal experts think yes.

Trudeau’s government made a pledge to “legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.” With his win in the election last month, many are now expecting to see changes surrounding the legality of marijuana usage.

The loosening of restrictions surrounding marijuana laws in the United States — as well as other countries around the world — could increase the likelihood of Trudeau’s government following suit. Other jurisdictions that have changed their marijuana laws could serve as a model for success, and provide an example for the how the Liberal government can implement similar marijuana laws in Canada.

In Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Washington D.C, recreational marijuana use is legal.

On November 4, Trudeau will name his cabinet, with the new justice minister likely to become responsible for overseeing the party’s reforms. The Liberals had pledged to form a federal-provincial task force. According to their platform, after hearing from experts in public health, substance abuse and law enforcement, the task force would create a system of marijuana sales and distribution, with federal and provincial taxes applied.

Bevor he was elected, Trudeau said his government would learn from how jurisdictions have legalized marijuana — taking note of what has worked and what hasn’t — and work with individual provinces to create the best system going forward.

 Some legal experts claim it could take only a year for the country to see new marijuana laws come into effect. Others, however, aren’t so sure: it could be a lengthy process to understand what kind of issues have arisen in jurisdictions such as Colorado and Washington after marijuana was legalized, and how to prevent them in the future.
Moreover, how much revenue both the federal and provincial government could gain from the legalization of marijuana remains to be seen. In their four-year projections in their election platform, the Liberals did not account for any revenue from marijuana taxes. While not discounting the possibility for revenue upon marijuana’s legalization, Trudeau had explained he wasn’t sure the rate that the government wanted to tax marijuana, and when exactly it would be legalized.
For more on this story, visit The Toronto Star.
Featured image source: CBC
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A Poll On Canada’s Marijuana Laws

Support for decriminalization of marijuana has increased dramatically over the past 25 years in Canada.

More than two-thirds of Canadians want marijuana laws softened according to an opinion poll conducted by the federal government and Ipsos Reid which surveyed 3,000 people and was commissioned by the Department of Justice.

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