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A huge day for potheads and those who partake to alleviate pain

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MONTREAL — Canada on Wednesday became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana, beginning a national experiment that will alter the country’s social, cultural and economic fabric, and present the nation with its biggest public policy challenge in decades.

On Wednesday morning, the government announced that it would introduce legislation to make it easier for Canadians who had been convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana to obtain a pardon.

While the government is not offering a blanket amnesty, Ralph Goodale, the public safety minister, said at a news conference in Ottawa that as “a matter of basic fairness,” the government would seek to end the minimum waiting period of five years to apply for a pardon as well as waiving the fee of 631 Canadian dollars.

“We will make the application process as simple as it can be,” Mr. Goodale said, adding that details would not be available for several weeks.

Newfoundlanders became the first Canadians to be able to smoke pot legally on Wednesday, when retailers there opened in the country’s easternmost province at midnight.

Across the rest of the country, government-run stores were preparing to greet consumers, who will be able to choose among pre-rolled joints, fresh or dried marijuana flowers and cannabis oil — all of which are permitted under the new federal law.

At a government cannabis store in eastern Montreal, a line stretched across a long city block on Wednesday morning. Hundreds of people, some of whom had been waiting since 3:30 a.m. for the store’s 10 a.m. opening, waited, some smoking joints, filling the air with the pungent smell of marijuana.

As the first customers left the store with dried cannabis in brown shopping bags, the crowd cheered.

“I have never felt so proud to be Canadian,” said Marco Beaulieu, 29, a janitor. “Canada is once again a progressive global leader. We have had gay rights, feminism, abortion rights — and now we can smoke pot without having to worry police are going to arrest us.”

Kate Guihan, 29, a beautician, had been in line for hours.  

She said she planned to celebrate the “historic moment” on Wednesday night with several puffs on a joint. The low cost of government pot, she added, was a big draw for her, along with the fact that legal marijuana was screened and devoid of contaminants found in some black-market marijuana.

“This is a great moment for Canada,” she said. “It will bring in money, help reduce the black market.”

Marijuana advocates were also jubilant about the day.

“The fact that we are moving away from a Prohibition model is a victory for human rights and social justice, an economic windfall for the Canadian economy and a sign of social progress,” said Adam Greenblatt, a director at Canopy Growth, a producer that has been valued at more than $10 billion.

Others were more cautious.  

“Legalization of cannabis is the largest public policy shift this country has experienced in the past five decades,” said Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s minister of public safety.

“It’s an octopus with many tentacles, and there are many unknowns,” he added, “I don’t think that when the federal government decided to legalize marijuana it thought through all of the implications.

In a stinging editorial published on Monday, the Canadian Medical Association Journal called the government’s legalization plan an “uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.”

It called on the government to promise to change the law if it leads to increased marijuana use.

But the so-called “green rush” is already on, as licensed cannabis growers have been rushing for months to get a foothold in what is expected to be a $5 billion industry (6.5 billion Canadian dollars) by 2020, buttressed by the expected arrival of thousands of pot tourists from across the border in the United States.

In early trading on Wednesday, though, after several months of rising to dizzying multibillion-dollar heights for the biggest companies, Canada’s marijuana growers saw their stock prices fall. Many analysts said the value of legalization had long ago been worked into their prices by investors.

When Justin Trudeau ran for prime minister three years ago, legalizing recreational marijuana was one of his campaign promises. Canadians broadly support cannabis legalization, reflecting a progressive liberal-minded country where use of the previously illegal drug has been commonplace.

 

Canada is only the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize it.

According to Statistics Canada, 4.9 million Canadians used cannabis last year and consumed more than 20 grams of marijuana per person, spending a total of $5.6 billion.

Bernard Le Foll, a specialist in addiction at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, a leading teaching hospital and research organization, said that although the center supported legalization, he was concerned that the public dissemination of information about risks had been insufficient.

“Cannabis is not a benign substance,” he said. “There is a clear risk of addiction, and it can produce significant mental health issues if used by the wrong kind of people.”

He added, “It took decades for the public to understand the risks of cigarettes, and the legalization of cannabis has taken place only over a few years.”

Jean-Sébastien Fallu, an associate professor of applied psychology and a specialist in addiction at Université de Montréal, said he worried about the effects on young people.

“We don’t want young people to feel stigmatized, for example, if they don’t use cannabis, and, as we have seen with alcohol, there can be a lot of social pressure,” Professor Fallu said.

Once the profit motive becomes the main imperative,” he added, “and big business lobbying becomes entrenched, we are worried that public health and safety will be sacrificed.”

[Yes, Canadians can grow their own, but not in every province. No, it won’t be legal for kids to smoke. Here’s what you need to know as Canada legalizes marijuana.]

The federal government has left the country’s 13 provinces and territories to carry out the new legislation and to set their own rules, creating a patchwork of regulations. Among many open questions are how the police will test drivers who may be high and how employers deal with employees who smoke before coming to work.

Under Canada’s new federal cannabis act, adults will be allowed to possess, carry and share with other adults up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, enough to roll roughly 60 regular-size joints. They will also be permitted a maximum of four homegrown marijuana plants per household.

 

Marijuana for medical purposes has been legal in Canada since 2001, and about 330,000 Canadians, including cancer patients, are registered to receive it from licensed producers.

Cannabis edibles — like pot-infused jelly beans, peanut butter and coffee — won’t be legal for another year.

The government’s stated rationale for legalizing cannabis is to tame an illegal trade estimated at 5.3 billion Canadian dollars in 2017 by Statistics Canada. But from Toronto to Winnipeg to Vancouver, hundreds of illegal shops have indicated that they have no intention of shutting down, and the black market supply chain remains deeply entrenched.

Chief Constable Adam Palmer of the Vancouver Police Department, who is also the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said this week that at a time of limited resources, policing marijuana would not suddenly become law enforcement’s primary concern.

“Fentanyl kills 11 Canadians a day,” he said, referring to the powerful synthetic opioid that is a public health scourge in some cities like Vancouver. “Marijuana does not.”

He added, “I don’t expect a big crackdown on day one.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/world/canada/marijuana-pot-cannabis-legalization.html

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yeah sure, legalize the stuff at just such a time as I am too old to be bothering with it. Fuckers. Always knew it would happen, too much tax revenue for it not to.  Especially with our gov liking SO MUCH to subsidize the rich and corporate world.

 

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6 minutes ago, JustSumGai said:

yeah sure, legalize the stuff at just such a time as I am too old to be bothering with it. 

 

Not sure what you mean you this. How is anyone ever too old to enjoy herb? There is no age limit. Besides, baby boomers are some of the biggest consumers of cannabis, and we OLD, dude. 

I’m 59 and I toke up every night to help me sleep. 

Herbal medication is da healing of da nation. 

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oh I might also, the best soporific, but over the last 20 yrs lost all connections and the damn kids drove the price up to stupid highs. Heroin is cheaper.  No more $35 quarters of good greenbud, now it's all White Widow and other trendy name "brand" names. Total bullshit. Got to smoke it in a small one hit bong or you'll do $35 in one day.  Eons ago my buddies joked in this way selling "Venusian Space buds", who knew. Plus after you don't toke but once of a few times a year over 15 or so years, ya kinda lose interest maybe. At this age my brain is becoming naturally foggy :P

 

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Yeah, it ain’t cheap, that’s for sure. But, the quality is far better and more consistent than back in the day, when all we had was that shitty Mexican dirt weed, blech, gag, no thanks. 

I live in SoCal, and have a medical card. Now, I call up my local weed shop and they have whatever I want at my door within the hour. Not cheap, but very good and always reliable. 

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i MISS mex "dirtweed" at least the weak you could smoke fat joints all day and not get stupid stuff, from late 60s. Even Columbian gold or red would put me OUT after a few joints sometimes. THAT was $35 an OUNCE. I went thru an ounce a week and never smoked before or during work. Drinking Ballantine India Pale Ale long before it became IPA made by everyone and their sister. Sometimes I think progress is improperly defined.

and how much does that heroin strong clinic boo cost ya? $35 a gram?

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I smoked in my younger years but don't now that it is legal here in Colorado. It is expensive. Apparently California still has a black market weed problem as it's cheaper than going to the store.

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I considered moving to Colorado :D  Thing is anymore it just makes me feel lowgy and sluggish and not really comfy like it used to. Tuk tuk guy in Phnom Penh was pushing a hard sell on a nice $15 bag, about a quarter and I just passed.  Then I gotta rustle up something to smoke it in, joints make too much stinky.  I spose I should get a pinch hitter, that's perfect for on the go tokes. Hmmm, maybe I will.

 

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28 minutes ago, JustSumGai said:

uk tuk guy in Phnom Penh was pushing a hard sell on a nice $15 bag,

Used to smoke quite a bit in my college days but don't at all anymore. It speeds up my heart rate and makes me feel creepy.

Rather than deal with tuk tuk drivers, there are a few barang bars that sell it.

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I thought I would  check out the action on day one so after work I took a walk down to the beach and  although I did smell the herb on my walk down it wasn't till I got down there that I saw the celebrations In full force, it was a beautiful and mild October evening  the beach bars were rocking and there were various groups having pot parties while watching the sun go  down, these groups were interspersed with the usual joggers and dog walkers, and in the distance cheech clouds were wafting all over the place it was a pretty amazing scene, and got me thinking about a potential business venture, a food cart selling stoner snacks, would definitely serve a niche in the market

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I'm not a toker,I gave it up years ago.....Skunk weed killed my pot smoking days.....Has skunk made its way to the states...It's all the kids smoke now in the uk....a high increase in psychosis as well....

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22 hours ago, williethepimp said:

I'm not a toker,I gave it up years ago.....Skunk weed killed my pot smoking days.....Has skunk made its way to the states...It's all the kids smoke now in the uk....a high increase in psychosis as well....

Don't know, I don't live there and have no reason to visit, its BC bud all the way here 

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