In case you’ve been living under the same rock as I have (aka the new-mom-of-twins rock), you should know that this year on October 17th, Canada will become the second nation – and the first G7 Country — in the world to legalize marijuana. And no, the first country is not the Netherlands, contrary to popular belief and infamous Amsterdam coffee shops. (Spoiler alert: it’s Uruguay).
To say this is a big deal would be an understatement.
Bill C-45 //
When Bill C-45 passed in June, the goal, according to justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is to, “Help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.”
In spite of this, it’s safe to say that the country is divided in their reactions. Some people believe that all Canadians from ages 8-80 will be permanently stoned starting mid-October, and others believe this is the first step to all of us dancing together in perfect harmony to old Tragically Hip tunes around a campfire while cottage-ing up in Muskoka.
My limited experience tells me this is what Torontonian pot-lovers do. Or, I guess, just cottage lovers.
Either way, this is a major progressive victory for the Great White North and it is imperative that we as a society educate ourselves using credible resources on what’s happening before jumping to any outlandish conclusions. I will get into that more but first a little back-story.
My Awkward Dance With Mary J //
Though I’m actually a non-smoker, I fall somewhere in the middle of the Mary Jane spectrum even though I have lived at both ends of it.
In high school, I was an elite athlete. That meant that weed was bad. Weed was stupid. Only losers and stoners smoked weed. Noted. I wasn’t really that interested in it anyway, so no loss to me.
I earned a full-ride scholarship to an NCAA Division 1 university. This meant I was drug tested on a bi-annual basis (it’s supposed to be random, but I don’t know anyone else who was “randomly tested” seven times over four years), so not only was weed “bad” it was now a scary and anxiety-ridden thing because it could mean the end of my scholarship. Fine.
In university, the closest I got to grass was the opening scene of Super Troopers.
Where other students were experimenting, I was paranoid about even being in the same room as people who hung with smokers because I thought I would test positive as third-hand high (LOL). My teammates often joked that’s why I got tested so much; the admins knew I was one of the few people NOT smoking.
This Coffee Shop Doesn’t Serve Coffee//
Fast forward 5 years and I find myself living in the Netherlands. Viewed by back-packing university grads everywhere as reefer mecca, I learned about a whole new side of the taboo (by North American standards) drug while residing outside of Amsterdam.
Though it’s technically not legal in Holland– it’s decriminalized for personal use and allowed in coffee shops – it is everywhere.
And, guess what? It’s not a big deal. It’s just part of the culture.
Youth grow up learning about marijuana in a healthy and low-key way. Adults use it as a way to unwind after a hard day at work. Doctors recommend it in place of harsh and addictive prescription drugs.
Though I never indulged during my time there (seriously, never), weed was suggested to me by my doctor for things I didn’t expect: insomnia, anxiety, PMS, cramps, jet lag, migraines, body pain from sports… I could go on, but I think you get the point. I returned a polite yet non-committal thank you and said I would prefer to take a tablet painkiller if possible.
When they asked what I previously took for pain and I gave the rundown of over-the-counter and prescription medications I had taken over the years, specifically for ovarian cysts and a painful knee surgery, the medical pros were shocked.
I may as well have told the Dutch doctcors I was injecting black-tar heroin, the way they reacted to my “legal and safe prescription medication”.
Perspective and, again, education, is everything.
Educate Yo Self //
So, now that this powerful green plant is becoming legal, we Canadians have some learning to do. While each province has their say on specifics of the law, including legal age and home growing, the blanket allowances are generally the same for purchasing from federally regulated points of sale, either online or brick and mortar shops.
**Ed note: Ontario has just announced that they will abandon the government’s plan of selling in federally regulated business, and instead will sell online through a provincial website starting October 17, and hopefully in private-sector stores next year. Alberta and Manitoba are working towards similar.**
And let’s not forget that marijuana is available in edible forms and as non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (CBD), both of which have shown to be beneficial for a multitude of health conditions.
To help weed through (see what I did there?) the noise and overwhelm of information, I’ve been using weedadvisor.com to keep track of the latest news about the legalization as well as the proposed benefits of the CBD Oil and other non-smoker things.
Register on Weed Advisor + Get $25 in Savings //
If you are curious to know more, including but not limited to where the government licensed dispensaries are, check out Weed Advisor — By registering today, you’ll get $25 off your first purchase when the law takes effect. If you’re like me and want to seem cool and in-the-know with all your kush knowledge, check out the Weed Advisor twitter feed. It’s chalk full of useful tidbits, like this tweet on travel back and forth between Canada and the US.
I’d love to hear what you think about all this – is marijuana legal where you live? If you are in Canada, what do you think of the bill?
Do you have any experience, positive or negative with CBD oil?
Share with me in the comments!
*Though I think I’m pretty smart I am not, in fact, a doctor and this information is not meant to diagnose or prescribe anything to anyone. Please remember to ask your actual doctor about health stuff, and keep in mind that even substances like CBD oil may have side effects.*