What Are the Consequences of Legalizing Marijuana in Canada
The legalization of marijuana in Canada has been a long time coming, and there are still many questions surrounding the issue. What are the consequences of legalizing marijuana in Canada, what will be the barriers to accessing this legal substance, and what are the measures taken to protect public safety? Let's find out more!
Impact of legalization
Legalization of marijuana has created a myriad of concerns. Concerns range from worker safety to health. Some states have passed laws limiting workplace marijuana use, while others have not. The impact on employers and the workforce is unclear. However, some aspects have been studied in depth. For example, drug testing at workplaces will likely increase after legalization, and employers will need to adjust their drug policies accordingly.
Regulation of marijuana markets will decrease demand for the illicit drug. It will also decrease violence and home invasions associated with drug use. Currently, residents who live near unregulated marijuana markets have installed barricades and traps to protect their neighborhoods. These measures can also pose a danger to law enforcement. Still, some marijuana is still being sold by gangs, which is a threat to neighborhoods.
In New York State, for example, the state executive budget outlines a plan for legalizing recreational marijuana and regulating the industry. The plan includes a three-tiered market structure, similar to the one implemented for alcohol in New York. A three-tiered market structure expands economic opportunity. Additionally, registered medical marijuana providers could be perfectly placed to operate as cultivators in the adult-use market.
Measures taken to protect public safety
As a first step, Canada should consider implementing a possession limit on non-medical cannabis in public places. The Task Force believes that a possession limit will reduce the risk of drug abuse, and it will also help law enforcement. It recommends a limit of 30 grams for individuals to possess in a public space, and an equivalent limit on the amount that can be sold to an individual. This limit would apply to dry cannabis only, but corresponding limits would need to be developed for non-dry forms.
The Task Force also recommends that provinces and territories regulate marijuana retail sales. This would help prevent the proliferation of storefronts and ensure that they are not too close to community centers or schools. It also suggests that provinces and territories issue information about cannabis rights and obligations to tourists, and make clear any prohibitions against transporting cannabis across borders.
Barriers to accessing legal cannabis
Approximately one-fifth of consumers in Canada reported one or more barriers to accessing legal cannabis in 2020. These barriers ranged from the price to the convenience of store locations. Consumers also reported problems such as slow delivery and needing to use a credit card. A recent survey by Health Canada revealed that the main barriers to accessing legal cannabis in Canada were still largely unaddressed.
Despite the fact that the marijuana industry has become more established in Canada, it remains a federally controlled substance. Medical cannabis remains illegal, and only a few Canadians have been approved by Health Canada to use it for medicinal purposes. Many people with AIDS and HIV rely on illegal sources to obtain the medication they need.
The lack of medical oversight in the medical cannabis industry is a major barrier. Patients must obtain a document from their physician authorizing them to access cannabis. Once they have this document, patients must register with an online supplier and purchase the medicine through mail order with a credit card. In some cases, patients may also access cannabis through illegal storefront dispensaries or unlicensed growers. Although access to cannabis is a human right, failure to enforce the law has led to an unregulated industry, one without standards or guidance for medical users.
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