Cannabis legalization coming Oct. 17

Take all the time you need

On Oct. 17, recreational marijuana will be legal.

Why that particular date, is not incredibly clear, and many on the internet have taken to guessing why Oct. 17 is significant.

Despite the hilarious double meanings of Oct. 17, the date is much later than planned.

The federal government initially estimated eight to 12 weeks to prepare for legalization after the passage of the bill.

After hearing from the provinces, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they need more time.

Putting something in place before the provinces are ready to deal with it would be a bad move for the prime minister, who has been trying to bring the provinces together since gaining office.

Provinces are tasked with overseeing the distribution, and much like alcohol, the rules will vary based on location.

The provinces also differ in their preparedness. While one province is ready to go for “legalization day,” others are falling behind.

There are still so many unanswered questions about how and where cannabis will be sold. It’s not as simple as waving around a gavel and saying you can now consume cannabis. There are rules and procedures that need to be established, plus licensing processes and facility requirements.  

Police will have to be trained on the new law, and how it affects drivers. Testing for high drivers still needs to be implemented.

There is still so much to do as Oct. 17 creeps closer.

– Olivia


Enough dancing around

Last week, the Canadian Senate passed the federal government’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana – on Oct. 17.

I’m not sure about you, but I thought Canada Day (this Saturday) was the legalization deadline.

Sure, the provinces and territories need to get their ducks in a row to distribute, sell and set the price for pot. But haven’t they already had ample time?

Pot legalization isn’t new. In March 2017, the government announced it was happening, and it was to take effect on July 1.

Nova Scotia already has its first marijuana store ready to go, so why aren’t the other provinces following suit? Not only is it a disappointment for Canadians looking to try pot once it’s legal, but what about current marijuana users who fear prosecution, even though the drug will be legal in a few months?

How can police enforce a law that everyone knows isn’t really the law?

The new bill has already passed, it’s just waiting royal assent. The federal government should consider following in the footsteps of municipalities. When a bylaw is passed it takes affect immediately. When a federal bill is passed, it should also take affect immediately.

Enough dancing around, Justin Trudeau. Stick to your campaign promise and implement laws when you say you will.

I must say, however, it’s nice to see Canada isn’t completely abandoning government promises  (even if delayed) as a result of the impending U.S. trade war.

– Jaime

Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik