It’s been a monumental 20 years in cannabis reform. Aside from the U.S. having 30 states with medical marijuana laws, nine of which have also legalized adult use, Uruguay legalized cannabis as a country and now Canada is poised to become the first industrialized country to legalize the plant for recreational use.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set October 17 as the official opening day for the newly legalized marijuana marketplace and the country as a whole seems to be thrilled. However, there are still some who are wary and there are a few remaining questions that need to be answered.
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Health insurance companies are at the top of the list of worriers. Sun Life Financial is the second largest of its kind in the country, and they are just now dipping their toes into covering medical marijuana, which has been legalized in Canada for over 17 years. Reuters reported that on top of being late to the party, they’re only offering to cover certain conditions under certain circumstances, and that’s after paying a premium. One of their arguments is that the price for medical grade cannabis is higher than that of many of the pharmaceuticals that it’s meant to replace.
There are other concerns in the air that have lived and breathed since cannabis became a feasible question and then a viable solution post-prohibition. As drug war proponents watch the walls tumbling down, they are still clinging to questions like stoned driving. And in Canada, legislation has yet to go through to allow peace officers to determine a driver’s impairment level. To be fair, a good, as in functioning, roadside test for recent cannabis use has yet to materialize.
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Banishing the black market is one of the war cries of cannabis legalization proponents, and with Canada’s plans to have a low, across the board 10 percent tax on recreational they could be well on their way. However, as pointed out in The Motley Fool, the black market doesn’t have any taxes to worry about or overhead expenses even. Certainly not more than those who are going above board.
It will be up to the people of Canada to make this monumental move to legalize recreational weed a safe and productive one. Things to remember include that the taxed and regulated cannabis is also tested for purity and potency; never get behind the wheel while stoned, just wait it out; going through the proper channels for cannabis moves the movement forward; and, now is the time to be on the cutting edge, not to mention the right side, of history.