Opinion: Why You Should Say “Meh” to Drugs

So, when can you get your hands on some good government regulated ganja you ask? Hold your horses there, chill man. All in due time says the Liberal government. The previous projection has been kushed back, err I mean, pushed back later than the proposed July 2018 legalization and accessibility.  Which means the Trudeau government has ruled out legalization in time for Canada Day.  I can hear the smoke scented sighs from here but let’s remember that weed is serious business broski. Health Minister Ginette Petipas stated to reporters that legalization is not a “process, not a date”.

The federal government has passed the Liberal’s proposal to legalize cannabis through the bill C-45 also known as The Cannabis Act. The federal government released a report called “The Final Report of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation” as of November 2017 after Health Canada surveyed use and behaviour around cannabis 9,215 Canadians. The survey works as a leading force for the government on the regulation for the on-coming opportunity for purchasing pot.

Here are some quick facts to get you up to speed on the federal mandate which legalizes cannabis use and how Nova Scotia has interpreted this change:

  • The legal age for use, purchase, and possession will be 19.
  • It will be sold through the NSLC both online and in stores.
  • In store, it will be sold separately from the rest of the store and not made visible to customers.
  • The locations (Amherst, Dartmouth, Halifax, Lower Sackville, New Glasgow, Sydney River, Truro, and Yarmouth) will begin selling online and with home delivery.
  • There will be more information provided on online sales.
  • Of age individuals may possess up to 30 grams.
  • Adults are able to grow 4 plants per household.

All this information and more is provided by the Nova Scotia government online.  Most of these restrictions are in line with New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The government has done an excellent job in sucking the fun out of this news and possibly rightfully so. I mean, we haven’t heard anything spicy since Shania Twain swapped husbands with her (ex-) best friend who cheated with her then husband so Canadians may be feeling a little desperado for some interesting news.  But like any story with notoriety, such as the Shania-swap, there are those who must live with the repercussions of the reality of such interesting news. There may be a benefit to this benign approach to blazing up.

When one immediately looks at the “Cannabis Legalization” page on the Nova Scotia website there is a huge prioritization of establishing that cannabis is not for children, not to be consumed before or during driving, and should be extracted from organized crime. All very important nugs of information. This seems like common sense, but it may be the key approach which aids in not succumbing to the sensationalism of a product which is already common to many Canadians.  The Liberal government has presumably had to combat the common sentiment that they are fostering the idea that this will be the age for the rejoice of the stoner. Huzzah! That the Prime Minister will be handing out phat joints like fat cheques at an Ellen show come legalization (I’m assuming that segment of the show would be named Tokes with Trudeau). Weed is legal, so what is next? Crack? Right, I get it. It’s going to get some getting used to.

This normalization of cannabis may aggravate some however it may just be what the doctor ordered (because sometimes it is literally what the doctor orders so, I mean can it be that bad?). By treating cannabis similarly to an intoxicant such as alcohol it integrates it into society in a familiar way and acknowledges that it is not some scarce substance only enjoyed by kids in movies that your parents wouldn’t appreciate you hanging with or Snoop. It is here, it’s everywhere, but it is something we have to be as careful as alcohol with.

This normative approach may in fact turn individuals away from partaking in weed. Part of the appeal of pot to some is that it seems to be available to the reclusive few. That attaining the free form herbal jazz is apart of an underground endeavor. One that is based on who knows where buy the best bucket hats and/or know the who’s who of who to buy from. It’s a thrilling connection for few that will be taken away by the NSLC.

It’s the same way that when an individual is legally permitted alcohol, the process of purchasing it seems quite less alluring and intoxicating when it was prohibited. Sort of like when your friend’s Mum asks if you want a cocktail with lunch because it’s the day after your 19th birthday, and it just feels weird, and you would suddenly rather be enjoying a Kool-Aid jammer at home instead.

That yes, “good” and even sometimes God-fearing, people also partake in some Mary Jane as well from time to time and we need to keep them all as safe as possible. That the delay of this legalization may add some sober thought which can help in deciding the means for dispensary, but to vote against, may just in fact be a vote against reality and safety. Instead of ignoring Johnny Red Eye, if legalized it can ensure regulation that prevents things such as lacing and minimize organized crime.  Let’s not forget that it is not only safety we have to consider, but there a massive opportunity for industry that the government needs to finalize before it can be logistically distributed. So, really this is something that you may not want to be rushed. There is a lot of lettuce to be made from the electric lettuce therefore, let’s give the government some slack here.

If this narrative is to occur it should be a boring one. Less sensationalism may be the answer. Let’s leave the government exercise it’s best strength and let it drone on and make something that could be exciting become extremely dull. Let those bloodshot eyes glaze over with talk of legislation and policy my friends. It’s safer! So say “meh” to drugs with me now.