The Liberal government in Canada has announced that 1 year from now, some time during next spring in 2017 they will introduce a law to legalize recreational use of the plant. Details on limits and who can produce and distribute the drug have not been released yet. However, this obviously would be a nationwide law that would take effect in all 10 Canadian provinces. This would be a huge step in the right direction and would also mean that the United States is way behind with their slow state by state progress. The approach in Canada seems to be much better and will have more of a positive impact on the amount of people being arrested anywhere across the northern country.
One of the main reasons for this breaking news is the election of Justin Trudeau as the new Prime Minister. Legalizing marijuana was a huge campaign focus and ultimately helped lead him to a political victory. Before him, the previous Prime Minister had zero intentions of changing the draconian laws on marijuana. One change in leadership and there appears to be a very bright future for the economy and criminal justice system coming.
So where does the United States stand? Well currently for recreational legalization, there are only 4 states out of 50 that allow personal possession/consumption to an extent without legal ramifications. If you are unable to obtain a medical marijuana license due to the lack of an “acceptable” medical condition in the 24 states that offer medical marijuana programs, you’re shit out of luck and looking at a dim future if caught. Clearly, the lawmakers and voters are not on the same page and policy is way behind the will of the voters. There hasn’t been any announcement of nationwide legalization even though most people think that it is inevitable. My personal opinion is that Canada will beat us by a mile because the DEA and other industries have to much profit to lose from freeing the weed and all the people serving nonsense sentences for it. There is just simply to much lobbying and misinformation going around and it will continue to take time to undo the damage from this.
I plan on seeing it legal nationwide within the next five years. I also said that 5 years ago, so who knows how long they can drag it out. The U.S. started making medical marijuana and recreational reform first, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!