There are a few regions in the world that have already legalised recreational marijuana usage. The most recent to enter into this department is Canada, and the country is now well on track to legalising the recreational usage of this controversial herb.
The laws have not been completely passed just yet, and debates still rage on. But, for all means and purposes, it seems like only a matter of time before it is made official. As with everything, laws need to change with the times, and there were days when even drinking and playing casino games was outlawed, so the decriminalising of marijuana is seen by many as the next step in moving forward as a society.
The official date for Canadian marijuana legalisation has been set as 1 July 2018, although this is not 100% certain. The current bill has been in the works since as long ago as 2016, with debates on finer details and wording only reaching peak point recently.
Legalisation of marijuana is a complicated issue, with many opposing arguments on either side. And, when one takes a closer look, there are many factors to take into consideration that are not immediately apparent. But in order to understand such a complicated issue, it is first a good idea to look at another country that has legalised recreational marijuana, and see how they are fairing.
Legalised Marijuana In Uruguay
Uruguay was the first country to legalise recreational marijuana usage, and it seems that things are so far, going well. But seeing how the legalisation was implemented gives major insight into how the situation should, and can be approached.
The first thing to take into account is that recreational marijuana is only available from a few, select pharmacies in the country. Those who wish to purchase marijuana have to be registered, and are allowed a set amount within a given month. As it currently stands, there are 22,000 registered purchasers, in a country with a total population of about 3.5 million. Each registered purchaser is allowed 40 grams per month, which is regulated by the pharmacies. It should be noted that legal marijuana is only legal to locals, and not to tourists.
So far, the biggest problem the country has faced is attempting to meet the demand. Legal producers of marijuana are still struggling to catch up to the situation, with too few farmers, and an ever-increasing demand. In order to deal with this current problem, Uruguayans are allowed to register as home growers, and provide marijuana to registered purchasers, within the set limits.
The Canadian Debate
Uruguay seems to have the situation mostly well in hand, with the biggest problems being supply and demand. In Canada, however, the debate still rages as to whether legalisation is still the right decision. The nature of the debate seems to be focusing on the finer details of the proposed bill, with much focus being put on aspects such as how much marijuana would now constitute as an illegal amount. Recent heated arguments were heard about details such as the legal age of recreational marijuana users, with the final decision still being up in the air at this time.
Mention has also made of the fact that black market trade does still exist in Uruguay, given that it is still illegal to sell to foreigners. One of the central reasons to legalise marijuana is, of course, to dismantle illegal trade. But in the case of Uruguay, although illegal marijuana trade has indeed dropped sharply, it has not yet been entirely stamped out.
As it stands, it still seems uncertain as to whether the bill will be passed on the proposed date. But, given that a recent poll stated that 7 out of 10 Canadians thought that marijuana should be legal, the majority of the country will be highly satisfied if it does.