As a Canadian person, I can confidently assure outsiders who look upon Canada as this always-smiling apologetic utopia that it’s not. It’s cold for about 11 months of the year. Near every pond lurks a pack of Canada Geese that will either try to bite you or will laugh as you slip on their poo. But at least we can now legally smoke all our problems away, because today marks the first day that cannabis is 100% legal in Canada.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office in 2015, one of the things he promised was that Canada would one day decriminalize pot (medical marijuana has been a-ok since 2001). There were a couple times parliament tried to pass decriminalization bills, but they didn’t take until 2017, when the Cannabis Act was passed. The bill officially went into effect today, thus making Canada the second country in the world, behind Uruguay, to legalize it for recreation, medical use, and cultivation. Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles are crying THC tears.
CBC notes that the rules will vary from province to province. All but two provinces require you to be 19 years old (Alberta and Quebec are going with 18). You can smoke at home and in public (depending on the city), and bring 30 grams of weed on a plane, but you can’t get high and get behind the wheel of a car. You can also buy weed online and have it shipped to your house. Forget what I said about the geese, this country is obviously great. But you can’t sell it – you have to buy it from the government or an approved source.
Canada is also considering releasing people in jail for weed-related offenses.
As for how much legal weed in Canada will cost, that’s still up for debate. But CBC says that in general, it looks like it will start at about $7 to $8 a gram. I am not a weed smoker, so I don’t know if $7 a gram is a good deal or not. But now is the time to get into a weed-adjacent Canadian side-business. I should go door to door with a box of butter tarts and a couple old VHS tapes of Readalong. There’s no reason that anybody should be denied the full Canadian stoner experience.