Still Under Control
Despite the nationwide revelry at the announcement of the change in legality for cannabis, there still remains quite a grey area surrounding the usage of this much loved plant. Within many people’s day-to-day routines with the drug which may involve a morning and evening smoke in their own home, what the law no indicates is that there is no reason for charges to be pressed against you. However, those who sell, grow, store or travel with cannabis may need to make sure they aren’t unwittingly breaking any rules. Cannabis is still a controlled substance and as such its better to think of it more like a pharmaceutical – available in select places for certain people in small doses – rather than coffee, a known drug that has zero limitations legal or otherwise.
One of the most confusing aspects of controlled substances is the fact that the rules around them alter depending on which part of the country you are standing on. In many places, countries have all encompassing laws which govern the rules for the country as a whole, but the America’s are quite different. Take the USA’s baffling cannabis regulations, in one state it can be perfectly legal for you to light up a marijuana cigarette, hop over the state border however, and just having cannabis on your person is a serious offence. In American Samoa anyone simply in possession of cannabis or a product containing it is given a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. A drastic and confusing precedent for states that are allegedly ‘united’.
Unfortunately, Canada still has the same issue, so be wary when traveling with your stash. The division of by laws over provincial lines can drastically change how you need to behave, such as some states upping their legal age from 18 to 19, while others do not permit home growing at all. So, to be safe, don’t carry large amounts of the stuff around if you plan on touring the country. Hopefully this will change eventually, but keep in mind that some areas of Canada still prohibit alcohol sales thanks to largely unchanged laws that have lasted since the prohibition era.
Despite the way that certain provinces have reacted to the change, on the whole the people of Canada are delighted with their new freedom to enjoy cannabis as they please. Visitors can expect to find dispensaries that look like fancy cafés with a whole host of varieties available for sale. Gatherings are also catering to the growing community of legal leaf lovers, with everything from conferences helping cannabis shop startups get off the ground, to green festivals where the air and atmosphere is thick with both weed smoke and free thinking ideas. What were once called ‘space cakes’ are now simply known as edibles, which are snacks that you eat mixed with cannabis allowing for a delayed high. These special treats can now be found far often and offer the benefits of the drug without the need for inhalation. It seems the country has made a very well made move and now more than ever fit into its identity as far a more relaxed version of the USA.