When Canada legalized weed in October 2018 the main goal was to curb illegal sales and create a safer environment for those who consume the drug. Another effect of legalization was a change in certain people’s stance towards the usage of the drug.
Some people are more open to its general consumption while choosing not to consume it themselves, however there are many that have also tried marijuana for the first time. In Q1 in 2019, 646,000 Canadians reported trying pot for the first time. This is an astonishing number considering that number was double last year’s tally over the same time period. A segment of people that had a major influence on that figure are middle-aged (45+) first time users. Yet the most dominant age segment is that of those between 15-24 years old where 30% report they’ve consumed cannabis.
As the first G20 country to legalize marijuana, Canada is considered the example to follow regarding legalization. More and more people and countries are opening up to legal consumption of marijuana in their countries. This has turned some people who consider the drug to be dangerous or unhealthy to view it differently as it is becoming a recurring theme in their daily lives.
In 2020 Kiwis will have important decisions to make. Alongside their 2020 election there will be a referendum on recreational cannabis legalization. By the end of 2018 the nation legalized medical cannabis and seems to be quick to take that a step further with a simple yes or no vote.
A deal between the current governing party, the Labour Party and the Green Party. They hope to release the possible law well before the referendum so that voters will have time to discuss and truly think about their decision before the referendum
Those aged 20 years and older will be able to purchase, possess and consume cannabis under the proposed legislation. A mandatory education program, supply controls, an advertising ban and other regulations would be put in place if the vote gets a majority of votes in favor.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) campaigned in favor of legalization and has now introduced a 522-page bill Saturday into the Senate. If the bill is passed a massive new legal market will open in the US.
The legislation includes laws prohibiting anyone below the age of 21 from purchasing cannabis and those who will be able to carry up to 30 grams of cannabis. The bill places importance on the social aspect, with automatic expungement for low-level past offenses, and regular expungement for felonies. The law would create a $20M low-interest loan program for start-ups founded by those in areas affected by past marijuana laws and convictions.
Marijuana arrests were at 21,000 for the year of 2011, costing major tax dollars. After decriminalization, that number dropped to 129 in 2017. Tax revenue from legalization will be important for the state, products will be taxed differently depending on the level of THC and the cities cannabis is sold in.
The bill should become law by January 1st 2020 and licensing would begin that spring. This bill is a big opportunity for the government, but its biggest impact should be visible among disadvantaged communities who have been plagued by marijuana prohibition in the past.