Marijuana Reform News in the U.S. and in Canada:
While Americans are waiting on additional marijuana reform to advance, Canada is jumping ahead. Right now in the U.S., only 4 states have currently passed legislation making recreational marijuana legal in some fashion. Additionally, 23 states have passed legislation that makes medical marijuana permissible in some form. It is a very slow process of reform in the U.S., but it has gained momentum over the last decade. Despite the momentum gained, the federal government in the U.S. still lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug and considers marijuana very dangerous and highly addictive. Most believe that until the federal government changes the Schedule listing of marijuana, a slow reform process will have little hope of being more efficient. In Canada though, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is demanding the legalization of cannabis for his country. Specifically, Trudeau has said that he plans to work with the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Health to create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
Process of Marijuana Legalization in Canada:
Although Canadian Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau discussed marijuana reform prior to his election win, the now Canadian Prime Minister seems to be putting his money where his mouth was during his election run. Trudeau has asked Canada’s newly appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to look into the potential of implementing marijuana legalization in Canada. In writing, he asked that Wilson-Raybould specifically review the process that would ultimately lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana in the country.
At this point in time, the directive from the Prime Minister directive is to research and look into the process of legalizing marijuana. This is basically a fact finding stage and the information presented will be used to support future decisions regarding the reform process. No time line has been set for legalizing marijuana in Canada yet, but we do know that Trudeau is a timely character. He relayed during his election bid that he would begin work on the marijuana legalization process right after being elected. He was true to his word and he seems quite serious about moving forward. Regarding the legalization process, Trudeau has stated that the control and regulation of marijuana needs to be done comprehensibly in a way that is responsible and suitable. Although he started the process right away, as promised, it does not appear that Trudeau expects the legalization process will be a quick and easy implementation.