Congratulations millennials, you’ve done it! We have collectively elected a Prime Minister who is young, cool, and hip and when he flashes that winning smile while uttering the word “feminist” I’m sure there’s many of you whose hearts grow three sizes. I’m also positive that many of you voted for him because of that Liberal Party promise to legalize marijuana. This article was supposed to be about the effect that the legalization of cannabis would have on university campuses, specifically SMU, but instead here I am talking about the PM. Why? Well, long story short, it’s because Canadians have been left in the dark as to when or really how this major change in Canadian way of life is going to come about until this week.
The task force that Trudeau put together as one of his first acts as Prime Minister finished its report, including over 80 recommendations, at the end of November 2016. So when the Federal 2017 budget dropped last week and the only mention of marijuana was a recommitment of $9.6 million to support “public education and surveillance activities in advance of legalization.” This is not what people were hoping for. But then, SURPRISE, Trudeau releases a timeline citing that by Canada Day 2018, you will be able to celebrate using more than just Molson Canadian and fireworks.
Trudeau is rumoured to drop the legislation in the House of Commons on 4/20 and he will undoubtedly be the hero at the end of the movie, only instead of all the girls who normally swoon over the main guy, its stoners. Politically speaking, this might be his saving grace. If the Trudeau government can pull this off, it will be a big part of the 2019 election as a promise that Trudeau kept and his campaign team will utilize it as much as possible. Also, with the projected numbers this could allow the Trudeau Government to clean up his quite sizeable deficit as estimates from the parliamentary budget officer says that tax revenue could increase anywhere from $618 – $959 million within the first year.
The most concerning question in regards to this legislation is the age limitation. Officially, the government says that cannabis in Canada will be for those 18 and over with the provinces having the ability to raise it if they feel necessary. This is worrisome as many of the negative side effects of marijuana use, such as psychosis and addiction to harder drugs, normally happen to those who use cannabis prior to their brain developing fully and at 18, the brain is not fully developed. This is also an issue as mental health services, specifically in the Maritime Provinces, are not working now let alone if more people experience mental health issues due to a national increase in cannabis use.
All we can hope for is some more answers at this point, until then keep supporting your local dealer because those days are coming to an end real quick. #ThanksTrudeau