Marijhuana is to become legal on October 17th. Some people think it will be like turning on a switch and all will be well. It is more complicated than that. Federally it will be the law of the land. Every Province has different laws to administer the process. Ontario is different from BC. Most provinces will have approved sellers. Ontario will see internet orders only until next spring at least.
Local governments will decide where it’s sold and in many cases who gets the license to sell it retail in a municipality. What started out to be an easy yes, is becoming a patchwork quilt of competing regulations. It will be subject to over regulation and duplication before the dust settles. Each level of government wants to be part of the process and they want all levels of government sharing the blame if it all goes wrong. But that is not the end of the problems to be worked out.
Airlines will allow pot in carry on luggage but only the legal amount. How are they going to enforce that rule? Do they have the resources to police the rules is another matter. What about driving laws? There might be different rules inter provincially. Not so much from the driving end of it, the definition of impaired driving is entrenched in federal law.
Will it be allowed to be smoked in a moving vehicle by the passengers? Will it be required to be in the trunk until you get home. That was the case decades ago when booze became decriminalized.
One of the big questions will center around inter provincial transportation and distribution, as taxation levels will vary province to province. Can we send it to our kin in the mail? Don’t know yet. Even more important, we have over half a million people who were made criminals for possessing pot. If it is now legal Oct 17th should we not pardon those who were given a criminal record?
One NDP member has a private members bill to do just that.
We have thousands of people who were excluded from parts of the job market because of a possession charge years ago. If we are going to say sorry to various portions of our population, for wrongs committed in the past it is only fitting to pardon those punished and their records should be expunged. I don’t disagree with making pot legal but I have trouble with the lack of uniform regulation governing possession and purchase before officially changing the law.
We are two weeks closer to finding out just how bumpy or smooth the transitional ride will be.