Canada legalises the recreational use of marijuana tomorrow. In doing so the federal government, led by Justin Trudeau, breaks with long-standing international drug prevention partners, including the United States. Canada walks away from the three UN Drug Conventions, as it violates articles within the Rights of the Child Treaty. In response concerned citizens are rallying under the banner ‘A Grey Balloon Day For Canada – Legal Marijuana is Nothing To Celebrate’. Concern focuses on the issue of second-hand marijuana smoke exposure in the home, the long list of harms that marijuana causes to health, and the serious problem of drugged driving.
The grey balloon theme is in response to the expected ‘pot party’ that will take centre stage across the country tomorrow as tens if not hundreds of thousands of revellers celebrate. They will no doubt wave the Canada cannabis flags, smoke their drug of choice in public parks and on the streets, and will be heard chanting, as they have in the past, ‘Overgrow Canada and Free the Weed’.
October 17, 2018 is not a day for celebration, as Canada is vastly ill-prepared for such an enormous change in public policy.
University of Calgary assistant professor Rebecca Haines-Saah was quoted in the Edmonton Journal on October 10 as saying: ‘We wouldn’t be making this change if we didn’t have evidence to support the fact that it’s not going to be mass hysteria, or a weed zombie apocalypse.’
The federal government failed to produce a child risk assessment of its pot legislation, it failed to produce an environmental impact study on the Cannabis Bill, as it failed to produce a thorough cost analysis. The government is barrelling ahead with no evidence that its approach will reduce youth use or meaningfully curtail the black market, the stated goals for taking the country down the legalisation path.
Marijuana mayhem? Marijuana fearmongering? Rebecca Haines-Saah, show us the evidence that the country will not be made worse by legalising this psychotropic drug with its very serious risk profile. Show us the evidence that more youth won’t take to pot under this drive to normalise and commercialise marijuana.
The Canadian media have been preoccupied with the emerging pot industry and have relentlessly covered its ridiculous rise in terms of stock value. Investors have poured vast sums into these hyped-up entities, positively giddy over the prospect of a pot-driven economic boom at home and Canada-dominated global pot expansion.
But here is the snag.
According to part three of Bill C-45 (the Cannabis Bill) clauses 61 to 68 regarding the exportation of marijuana: Licences and permits may be issued in relation to . . . importation and exportation (clause 62(1)) of cannabis. Importation and exportation, however, can be authorised for medical or scientific purposes only.
In other words, under the laws that come into effect tomorrow marijuana products for recreational use cannot be exported.
Canada has no choice but to weather the marijuana mess that has been thrust upon it by a reckless prime minister who is so arrogant as to suggest that he will be the one to show the world how to legalise marijuana the right way. The world needs to decide whether or not Canada’s pot problem should be contained within the country’s borders or be unleashed on the rest of us. This is the burning question.