Tomorrow is a big day. It’s Wednesday, October 17th, the start of the legalization that we’ve all dreamt about, the supposed end of prohibition, as the clock strikes midnight and cannabis is no longer criminal, our government wipes out the competition and becomes Canada’s biggest dope dealer. We’ve talked about this for so long: at the legislature, in the news and with our people. We voted Justin Trudeau in so he could legalize weed, right? Not just for his good looks?
We know you’re excited for tomorrow, to hit up pot parties, to meet up with friends and gleefully laugh as you exhale weed smoke into the night, remembering nights you watched over your shoulder as you lit up on the streets. So, enjoy your pot party, just don’t get a DUI on the way home.
By allowing legalization, we’ve sanctioned the government to police the plant to their liking. We’ve allowed them to monopolize the entire weed industry and turn it into an exclusive club and unless you’re on the guestlist, you ain’t getting in. Game over for your local dispensary, unless they wave a white flag and become a licensed producer.
Licensed producers follow a gamut of rules including not branding themselves, or advertising and only buying weed from the liquor board in their Province. Our liquor board here in British Columbia gets their weed from a string of licensed growers who’ve their own rules to follow. With the government fully controlling the growers and sellers, they’ve overtaken the already established growers and dispensaries that have been operating calmly in Vancouver for years.
As of Wednesday, weed is part of the system for the first time. The taxes surmised from the sales of marijuana will do great things for the community: roads will be paved, schools will built, and we’ll all inevitably benefit from the 12% tax slapped on to marijuana strains. And don’t forget about all of the profits from the DUIs.
With legal weed comes a legal limit, and it’s much smaller than you think. In what is practically entrapment, drivers will now be penalized for testing over 5 nanograms which doesn’t take into account our body’s storage system for pot, meaning that if you’re a heavy smoker or a longtime smoker you could abstain for days and still test positive for THC levels.
With still so much work to be done, it’s foolish to celebrate Legalization 1.0 tomorrow. Instead, light one up and reflect on all of the people who are currently incarcerated for marijuana drug offenses, and all of the dispensaries that were repeatedly raided and shut down over the years. Think of Marc Emery who was jailed for the very same thing our government is doing tomorrow and think of the countless South Asian men and minorities in Canada who’ve been profiled and stigmatized as drug dealers in the Lower Mainland.
Puff puff pass…