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The legalization of marijuana in Canada offers a blueprint to the U.S.

In Canada, The Cannabis Act enacted in June 2018 paved the way for the legalization of marijuana in October 2018. As such, police, along with prosecution services in existing Canadian jurisdictions, are capable of pursuing criminal charges particularly for cannabis marketing without authorization issued by the Canadian health department. The Supreme Court has since insisted that the federal government is powerful enough to criminalize the possession of marijuana. By doing so, the authority will not infringe the Charter of Rights as well as Freedoms.

Over the years, the Ontario Court of Appeal insisted that the lack of a statutory provision, particularly for medical marijuana, isn’t constitutional. To that extent, the federal law isn’t going to affect users’ prescriptions. The government has since legalized the recreational utilization of cannabis which took effect in 2018.

The legalization of medical marijuana

From 1997, public opinion polls established that the majority of citizens in Canada agreed with the statement, “Marijuana smoking shouldn’t be a criminal offense.” In a report by the national poll spearheaded by Nanos Research, it indicated that approximately 7 in 10 Canadians are for legalization.

All the existing challenges to marijuana regulations at the federal level didn’t result in the deletion of valid sections from the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Consequently, legalization for personal consumption required legislation. That’s been the plan of the Canadian government, as confirmed from 2015 to 2016. The passing of the bill was the concluding point of trying to legalize cannabis through the courts.

In 2016, the Canadian government was working on the legislation of cannabis. The final wording was put under discussion in March 2017. Accordingly, the government selected a probable date to pass the bill on marijuana in 2018. Various provinces would later possess the power to come up with the distribution and sales method, along with the legal age for the use of marijuana.

Drug prohibition history in Canada

Canada’s drug prohibition policy started with the 1908 Opium Act. It was introduced in a report by Mackenzie King, the then serving deputy minister of labor. In 1907, there was a riot by the Asiatic Exclusion League. Mr. King traveled to Vancouver in a bid to investigate the impending causes of riots coupled together with claims for compensation. Notable claims were linked to opium manufacturers who sought compensation for damage caused to their manufacturing plants by the rowdy individuals that attacked Japantown. King interviewed a few members of the anti-opium league in Chinese. He finally ruled in favor of suppressing the use of the drug since opium smoking was being abused by white men, women, girls, and boys.

Additionally, in his report, Mr. King summarized the progress of the group that supported China’s anti-opium movement. He also made a final report on the anti-opium movement in the US, Britain, and Japan. He added that Canada lagged in the global movement. Hence, King’s recommendations were based on the 1908 Opium Act that prohibited the distribution, manufacture, and sale of opium for other uses apart from medicinal. The same was followed by the 1911 Opium as well as Drug Act, which immediately outlawed the possession of cocaine and opium. [https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47950785]. Smoking opium quickly became an offense that was punishable by a penalty of approximately $50 in addition to one month in incarceration. Over the years, King introduced new legislation founded on recommendations from the Vancouver Police. He focused on enacting a policy to bring the state’s drug laws in line with the current resolutions passed at America’s anti-opium conference held in Shanghai.

Cannabis prohibition in Canada

In 1923, the Canadian government added cannabis to the restricted list of narcotics. The government also introduced a law to prohibit the improper use of other drugs. That marked the consolidation of additional legislation that included marijuana. Since then, historians have referred to Emily Murphy’s publication of ‘The Black Candle’ as a significant inspiration for adding three drugs to the list. Murphy served as a police magistrate writing a series of expert-written articles that formed the foundation of her book.

Cannabis legalization in Canada

When Canada finally legalized cannabis, the country started blazing a significant trail that the United States should follow someday. There’s a lot to emulate about the approach of the government to legalization. There are also a few elements to avoid. However, legalizing large scale use of marijuana will have a significant impact on America’s treatment of the impending issue.

It’s also clear that medical marijuana is currently legal in about 33 states in the U.S. even though the possession is illegal based on federal law. This is an untenable situation that people engage in a legal activity in 55 percent of the state that violates federal law. That was pretty problematic for users of marijuana and cannabis industry as well. Although the market is quickly taking shape in support of the use of medical marijuana for recreation, it’s becoming a stilted effort in the long run. As a result, national banks are becoming hesitant to become involved. This implies that cannabis firms are also struggling to secure credit. It also complicates leasing, banking, and income taxes.

Beyond that, growers, dispensaries, coupled with other industry participants, should be willing to commit felonies every day while exposing themselves to the risk of steep fines and jail time.

How the Canadian government regulates the use of marijuana

The Voice of Public Health has been working closely with the Canadian Public Health Association in advocating for public health and speaking up for individuals, populations, and various levels of government. The organization champions health equity and social justice, coupled with decision making. It also leverages knowledge while identifying and addressing existing emerging public health issues. With the help of experts, the organization promotes the public health opinion and provides evidence to government officials as well as policymakers. It also catalyzes the transition that improves health, coupled with the well-being of different people.

Objectives of legalizing medical marijuana in Canada

The legalization of marijuana in Canada has received tremendous media attention in the country. Many states have since considered passing a law that supports the use of marijuana for medical purpose. These states need information regarding the impacts of policies that legalize or decriminalize the drug use, including its effect on driving safety as well as the state’s DWI system.

In countries where the use of marijuana hasn’t been legalized, law enforcement officials who detect that some drivers are using marijuana focus mainly on the possession charge. When it becomes a legal substance, law enforcement changes its mindset while establishing whether the suspect was impaired by marijuana when driving. The enforcement efforts need training for the professionals. They should also be supported by gaining access to public education.

The fact that the growing of marijuana can help address the impending opioid issue has quickly generated enthusiasm. Opioid misuse has declined over the past few years. Cannabis use has also increased with several states liberalizing marijuana laws. While the legalization of marijuana in some countries has been received positively, the healthcare department in Canada warns that regular use of the drug will hurt consumers’ health. As such, it’s notable that regular use is common. However, only 1 in 5 users have admitted to using it in the past week. The U.S. can tailor Canada’s marijuana legalization blueprint should they decide to follow this route.

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