Last week on October 17th, Canada became the second country in the world and the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana nationally. Wednesday marks the end to a 95 yearlong prohibition on recreational marijuana in the country. But, what exactly does this brave new step entail and what does it mean for the future of marijuana in the U.S?
What Does Canadian Law Say
Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001. About 330,000 Canadians are registered to use marijuana medically. Because of Canada’s new federal cannabis act, adults can now possess, carry, and share up to 30 grams of dried cannabis. In most Canadian provinces people will also be allowed a maximum of four homegrown plants per household.
In the United States where recreational marijuana is permitted, the legal adult age is 21. In Canada, however, the majority of the country considers an adult to be 19 years of age or older, in Quebec and Alberta the legal age is 18.
Only licensed retailers and producers will be able to sell marijuana products. Cannabis products will not be sold in locations that sell alcohol or tobacco.
According to CNN, Canadian authorities are soon going to be announcing their plans to pardon Canadians who were previously convicted of possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.
Traveling with Marijuana
If you’re traveling through Canada, it is important to know the laws specific to the province you will be visiting because laws differ across cities and provinces.
Though marijuana is legal in some states in the United States, it is still prohibited federally, which means that it is completely illegal to bring cannabis across the border. If you are flying from one city in Canada to another city in Canada, it is legal to fly with cannabis as long as you are within the legal limits and are of age.
What it means for the future of American cannabis?
In the United States things are also changing when it pertains to the legalization of marijuana. In accordance with Canada’s first day of legal adult use of marijuana, Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon has sent a letter to the House Democratic Leadership. The letter outlines a plan that will push forward federal legalization with an end goal of legalizing marijuana in this country by 2019.
According to Rolling Stone Magazine, he wrote in the letter; “Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis. There is no question: cannabis prohibition will end. Democrats should lead the way.”
Blumenauer’s plan begins with beginning to move some of the 37 bills currently sitting in Congress by having individual issues evaluated and discussed by different congressional committees. He also writes that these committees can and should start marking up bills to responsibly narrow the marijuana policy gap between federal and state laws.
Though his plan to have marijuana legalized in the United States of America by 2019 is quite optimistic, it is a step in the right direction as we take a look at our Canadian neighbors and towards the future of marijuana.
As part of the veteran’s community, we here at Veterans Cannabis Operations can and look forward to answering any questions you may have about medical marijuana for veterans. We can work with you to possibly provide financial assistance to veterans and their family members.