Tomorrow is the end of weed prohibition as Canada becomes the second nation in the world to legalize weed. Although it may be tempting to join the celebrations as the stigma against cannabis begins to lift, there are still many reasons why this era of legalization is nothing to celebrate.
As the pot leaf overtakes the maple leaf, it’s important to know your rights, and what legalization really means for Canadians. We share 5 reasons why you might want to put a pause on your pot party plans.
1. Unfair Legal limits
The government has set an enormously low limit for THC impairment. Driving with over 5 nanograms of THC in your system will get your car impounded and you’ll be fined $1000. If you get pulled over and charged with this a second or third time, there is a possibility of a longer suspension or even jail time (30 days!) To put this into perspective, you could test from 2.5-4 nanograms just sitting in a room where people are smoking without taking a single hit. THC stays in your body longer than any other drug, so if you’re a medicinal or heavy smoker, be careful, as you could blow this test even if you haven’t smoked in the last two hours.
2. Home Searches
Because the terms of impairment are so subjective, (you look tired, are you high?) it gives police probable cause to search your home or yard if they believe you’ve either been driving high or are growing more than the allotted four marijuana plants that every citizen is allowed to keep. In order to simply smoke a plant, we’re giving up way to much freedom and allowing an unsightly amount of access to the police.
3. No consumption spaces
Unlike Amsterdam, marijuana consumption spaces will not be legal in Canada. No smoking lounges or places to socialize with smokers. No smoking inside parked cars, or in parks or public spaces. No smoking outside of commercial buildings (even if you’re 6 feet away from the entrance). No marijuana smoking allowed on any college or university campuses and no smoking inside apartments or rental units.
4. Licensing legalities
Anybody who cultivates or sells weed or pot related products must become a licensed producer. This lengthy process requires security clearance and can take a year to complete as per the Health Canada website. As of May 2017 only 45 of the 1665 submitted applications were approved. This means that anybody who grows or sells marijuana without a license is selling illegal marijuana and will be fined and/or jailed if they’re caught.
5. Flower Only
Too bad so sad if you’re someone who needs relief but can’t smoke weed. The government is only legalizing the flower, the dried cannabis that is smoked. Anybody who is asthmatic or has lung issues or just doesn’t like smoking is fucked for another year, as the government ponders how they can monopolize edibles, concentrated butter and hash and tinctures.