Is Cannabis legal in Canada?
I haven’t written a post here in awhile. It’s been a busy and warm summer. I am glad to be back and ready to engage on the subject of cannabis. As a Canadian, and someone who has benefited from the health effects of cannabis, I am thrilled that Cannabis is going to be more available. Marijuana legalization in Canada has been a long road. Is cannabis legal in Canada? A resounding YES!
As of Oct. 17, 2018, today, Recreational cannabis is legal in Canada. Medicinal cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2009
I have always been a little curious about marijuana, growing up in my teen years and later in my adult years. It’s only been in the last year or so that I decided to do something about my curiosity, and dove in head first, both in research and using the product. I was desperate earlier this spring, when I found myself unable to walk without excruciating pain. I had already begun my research but soon found myself trying out the cannabis product too.
I began with the thick viscous oil from Hemp, called CBD oil and also purchased the oil from Marijuana (Phoenix tears). I rubbed the Phoenix tears marijuana product on my inflamed knee first, along with some flax oil. After a few weeks of topical treatment, I tried taking some by mouth.
That was a mistake. Check out my story about that in the post Bad trip on Cannabis oil . After that experience, I took only the CBD oil from Hemp, and left the Phoenix tears for topical use. For me and millions of other people around the world, cannabis has been a ‘miracle drug’.
Recreational use of cannabis (Marijuana)
is similiar to using alcohol for relaxation, except marijuana products will give your brain a ‘high’, and alcohol will just get you drunk. A small amount of marijuana product will ease your anxiety, relax you or put you to sleep. More will give you psychedelic effects, possibly impairing your ability to function at work or while driving. A lot will send you ‘flying’, and might make you feel very sick!
Recreational marijuana will become more popular as edibles for those that don’t smoke. Marijuana can be baked into cookies, brownies, candies etc. Edibles must be used carefully, especially if you are not used to the THC content of marijuana. You can easily eat too much and be either flying as high as a kite when all you wanted was to relax and relieve some anxiety!
For some like myself, you could find yourself feeling very sick too, if you don’t carefully build up a tolerance for THC.
You can make cannabis butter, that can be added to the ingredients of any dish, whether it be a hot casserole or a plate of brownies. Recreational use can also be using cannabis infused Tea leaves to make a delightful cup of tea with an additional effect.
The sky seems to be the limit, no pun intended
where the prospective use of cannabis is concerned. Some companies are planning on alcohol beverages that have been infused with cannabis. I don’t know what the effect of that would be, but I would urge extreme caution.
What Marijuana will NOT do, is hurt you physically. Unlike other drugs like Heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and many others, Marijuana will not kill you directly. With too strong of a dose, Yes, you may feel like you want to die!
However, unless you have a severe underlying health condition or a life threatening allergy to cannabis, Marijuana WILL NOT KILL YOU!
I want to get that straight with all of you that are confused by recreational use of Marijuana. The cannabiniods (CBD and others) and Terpenes in cannabis, both Hemp and Marijuana, heal your body, and do not damage or kill you.
The THC cannabiniod that is mostly prevalent in Marijuana, very little in Hemp, is what gives you the pleasant or unpleasant effects through your brain receptors. Yet, even THC is healing, and is a primary pain relieving component of cannabis. Too much THC on a regular basis, will over time, dull your brain receptors, meaning your body will need higher levels to get the same effect.
When you first use a product with THC, you have to build up a tolerance, or the effects can be disturbing. The other cannabinoids (CBD,CBC,CBG and many others) do not have that same effect.
The following You tube video has some myths regarding marijuana exposed. It’s funny too!
People who use marijuana, as a recreational product
contrary to what you have been told, are seldom addicted to cannabis. Marijuana is no more addictive than let’s say sugar or soda pop is to some people. Sugar is extremely damaging to your body over time and is the leading cause of type two diabetes, yet it’s completely legal! Many of the drugs that your Doctor prescribes, are very addictive or have many damaging side effects, yet totally legal with your Doctor’s prescription!
Legalizing marijuana seems to bring out senseless fears about addiction. This Leafly post on marijuana addiction might clear up some misconceptions.Legalizing marijuana gives people the option of using marijuana to feel good, not just for medicinal reasons. There are many laws attached to this ‘legalization’.
In order to be a legal beagle about marijuana, you would have to buy marijuana products from a government licensed dispensary or store (online or brick & mortar), like you have to do when buying wine or beer. Of course, the laws have relaxed quite a bit regarding alcohol, you can brew your own beer or ferment your own wine these days.
A couple of Canadian provinces, Manitoba and Quebec are choosing not to allow any home growing of marijuana plants, which I think is a mistake.
Citizens of those provinces need to speak up, and not allow government officials to make laws without consulting them!
At the federal level, home growing up to 4 plants is allowed, with no restriction on yields like there were before.
Those more restrictive provinces may find many challenges in the courts of law from people charged with growing a small amount at home.
Province to Province, the laws will differ slightly from the federal model. If you don’t have a ‘green thumb’, you will most likely choose to buy marijuana buds from a dispensary instead of growing the plants.
Marijuana has some special growing requirements though….
It’s not as simple as growing a tomato
even though some gardeners might state this! Hey, I have some trouble growing great tomatoes! Humidity, the right fertilizer at the right time, lots of light, careful pruning and so on, make marijuana a high needs kind of plant! My post on growing marijuana goes through some of this.
If you enjoy gardening, and regularly use cannabis buds, then growing your own plants might be just the challenge you would enjoy!
As a recreational product, Canada will also allow cannabis to be vaped or smoked on registered campgrounds throughout our countries beautiful national parks. Some will be thrilled by this fact I am sure, but the rules will be just as strict regarding behaviour while using cannabis as in using alcohol. Some will allow smoking cannabis in public park areas and other parks will not.
Canadians throughout the country will be able to use marijuana however they choose in the privacy of their own homes or in the homes of others. There will be some lounges, pubs and cafes that will welcome cannabis smoking or vaping.
The fact is people have been smoking marijuana
buds and using the oils and edibles for recreational and medicinal purposes for the last few hundred years despite it being illegal here for 90 years and more. The fact that it’s been illegal has not prevented people from accessing this plant and growing it.
The result has been our prisons have been filled up with people whose only crime has been smoking it or growing it. Many have been arrested for simply having some Marijuana in their possession.
It has not stopped the marijuana trade. It has in fact increased it in the black market. Allowing canadians to access marijuana legally, to grow it legally, to use it legally right across the board, makes sense. Our law enforcement is better used in dealing with real crimes of violence and theft.
For people who are worried about their teens
using marijuana irresponsibly, guess what? They could always access it anyway before, from dealers on the black market. Parents did not teach their children about marijuana because they made assumptions that because it was ‘illegal’, their teens would not be able to get any. Wrong! As a teen in the 70s, I knew there were dealers in the schools and around our town.
In fact there were rumours that some of the adults in prominent positions (store owners) and town council members some of them, were providing some of this cannabis.When marijuana is a dirty word, it is even more appealing to the younger generation. As of today, Oct.17, 2018, anyone over the age of 19 (depending on each province) will be able to buy their cannabis from a licensed dispensary or enjoy the cannabis of their choice from a cafe as seen below right.
This will be much safer than buying cannabis from a questionable dealer on the street or at a party. Despite marijuana being illegal for the most part, online stores have flourished and done brisk business. I for one, have been buying my cannabis online from some of these stores.
The cannabis products are mailed from these online stores through Canada Post quite safely to the customers . No one is allowed to open your mail, it’s a Federal offence.
I have never been disappointed with their product
or shipping processes. Even the licensed online dispensaries will have to ship in discrete packaging though, to deter mail theft (from mail workers) and other prying eyes.
Of course now there will also be on line stores that have licenses from the Canadian government. It will be interesting to see how the prices of these licensed online stores compare to the prices of the un sanctioned online stores. If our government agencies want to eliminate un sanctioned online stores and dealers, they will have to make sure they don’t price their products higher than what customers can get from other sources.
Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is correct when he states that making Cannabis legal, will allow for more education, and more research, and will eventually make the black markets less appealing.
Legalizing Marijuana recreationally will minimize the stigma attached to a plant that has HUGE healing potential for many diseases, like cancer.
The following quote is from Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party.
“We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.
Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.
Arresting and prosecuting these offenses is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses. At the same time, the proceeds from the illegal drug trade support organized crime and greater threats to public safety, like human trafficking and hard drugs.
To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.
We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.
We will create a federal/provincial/territorial task force, and with input from experts in public health, substance abuse, and law enforcement, will design a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied.”
Marijuana legalization in Canada began with legalizing cannabis for medicine but it was important to go further than that. Canada has now accomplished what most countries have not. It will be an exciting journey and once the dust settles, I hope other countries will follow.