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meadowrun
29th Dec 2017, 14:12
All well and good, but governments doing it, don't get very far fast.
Kudos to Trudeau for doing the obvious but the path to the start line has so far been convoluted in the extreme.


Cannabis will be legalized in 2018, but not on 1 July as most thought as apparently that might put the flag in jeopardy of spontaneously changing leaf.
The BC cannabis culture is kind of continuing on its own merry way, more or less. The attitude is - stuff them all, they dither, we just do.


In the interim, all the provincial and municipal governments are moaning about not enough time, not enough $$$ for them to fund the increased rules and regulations and policing and crime requirements.


They have all lost the plot.
We are decriminalizing something. It's just like ending alcohol prohibition.
We are removing laws.
There are established templates to follow for policing, zoning, policies, if they can't hack it.
It will not cost money. It will generate millions and millions.
...and millions.


There does seem to be a significant and disproportionate amount of ex-police and politicians investing in various related businesses.

Mechta
29th Dec 2017, 14:32
I just hope the politicians have made sufficient provision for all the resulting long term mental health problems, instead of sticking their heads in the sand like most decriminalizers do.

Sallyann1234
29th Dec 2017, 14:32
Fine, if you can stop people driving under the influence.
It's just shifting police involvement from one point to another.

flash8
29th Dec 2017, 14:45
The BC cannabis culture is kind of continuing on its own merry way, more or less.

Spent many years in Victoria (and then many years trying to escape)... back in the 1990's and have to say the cannabis consumption levels there even then shocked me.. as a young guy it was everywhere... I'm genuinely not into that sort of thing but I certainly noticed.

VP959
29th Dec 2017, 15:04
I just hope the politicians have made sufficient provision for all the resulting long term mental health problems, instead of sticking their heads in the sand like most decriminalizers do.

This will happen if, and only if, we get back to the type of cannabis that was widely grown and available when I was growing up. That was pretty much natural Cannabis Sativa and Indica that had been grown as native strains in many countries for centuries, perhaps millenia. It was shown time and time again, in many studies from the 60's and 70's to pose little or no harm to health. Heck, as kids we used to joke that the tobacco in a joint was far more harmful than anything else in it, and I'm near-certain that was true.

The problems we face now are because we were effective at preventing the import of cannabis resin and marijuana. A whole industry grew up around growing the stuff indoors, under artificial lights, and that industry was more profitable if the plants they grew were smaller, all female and produced very high concentrations of THC.

For centuries people had been smoking cannabis with little or no long term harm to their health; I can remember a senior scout adventure trip overland to Morocco where our local guide stopped for a smoke every hour or two, and AFAICS there's no indication that cannabis produced any mental health issues in countries like this where it had been used for centuries.

Problems started to arise when home-grown strains of very potent, high THC level, cannabis became available, so called "skunk". It's now near-impossible to obtain "normal" cannabis in the UK; the growers only grow the stuff that has these very high THC levels. If the law allowed cannabis to be cultivated outside as a recreational drug, then these short, high THC potency, strains would almost certainly not thrive here, they are a product of the way they are grown.

Right now it's near-impossible to even buy seeds for non-hybridised, "normal" strains of the plant, even though it's perfectly legal here in the UK to buy cannabis seeds. No one sells them, as all the money is to be made by only selling the specially selected, female-flower only, strains that produce buds with a very high THC level.

This is really an example of the law of unintended consequences at work. Cannabis is bulky to import, and of relatively low value compared to other drugs, so it was easy to shut down the bulk importers from places like Morocco, Afghanistan etc. The market was still there, buying seeds was still legal, so it was inevitable that the indoor "grow farm" market would boom, and restricted space plus the need to get as much THC per unit of electricity used for grow lights inevitably pushed these "farmers" into selectively breeding lines that generated them the greatest yield, and hence profit.

A nasty side effect has been that strains of cannabis with a high concentration of THC, and, perhaps, some of the other cannabinoids, are harmful to health, in a similar way to an over dose of many drugs can be harmful to health.

Legalise it, allow it to grow outside or be imported, and get rid of the incentive to selectively breed very strong strains under grow lights, at significant cost, and much of the problem will go away.

The question is whether people will willingly switch to more normal strains of cannabis now these very high THC content strains have been selectively bred. Perhaps they will, perhaps they won't, but regulating legal growers and importers shouldn't be a major challenge, I'd have thought.

There's an analogy here with alcohol. During periods of prohibition illegal stills sprang up, producing some pretty harmful forms of alcohol. Even now you can buy very strong alcohol that will easily kill you in some places, Everclear being a good example. As soon as prohibition ended it became fairly easy to regulate alcohol to drinks that were relatively safe in terms of alcohol content. I can't see why the same shoudn't apply to the legalisation of cannabis.

Flyingbadge
29th Dec 2017, 15:37
I agree about the proliferation of skunk but as I saw very recently in Las Vegas, where’s it’s been recently legalised, shops have opened and they offer a choice, many choices in fact, more choice than I ever saw in Amsterdam. When buying illegally you’d take whatever was given, but openly and legally things are different.