However much I deeply appreciate the good reasons for the decriminalization of marijuana (chiefly, that too many people were saddled with criminal records for possessing relatively small amounts of the stuff and suffered the limits that attach to a record for the rest of their lives), I am not among those celebrating its recent legalization.
The Cannabis Act received Royal Assent in Parliament Thursday but won’t actually be the law of the land until Oct. 17.
Much of the surrounding discussion, official and otherwise, has been insufferable, as if Canada were merely taking a well-reasoned, wholly benign and totally accepted step that every sensible nation in the world already has taken.
In fact, of course, Canada is but the second country on the planet — after Uruguay, hardly a traditional ally — to fully legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
It was to gag to read Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tweet this week when the Senate passed Bill C-45.
“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana,” he said, “and for criminals to reap the profits.” With respect, odds are it will continue to be just as easy, and all that will change is that a new breed of “criminal,” white-collar, better-clad and equally cut-throat, will reap the profits.
As a child of the ’60s, I smoked my share of weed, which is to say, for one long summer, when I was crushing on a gorgeous lifeguard who sold and used it. I should be grateful, I suppose, he wasn’t pushing anything harder.