Canada has launched a review of its cannabis act, four years after legalizing its recreational use -- which was celebrated by thousands including this man pictured smoking a joint in Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto in October 2018 Photo: AFP/File
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Canada launches review of cannabis legalization four years on

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Canada on Thursday launched a long-awaited review of its cannabis regulations, four years after becoming the first major economy to legalize its recreational use.

An expert panel led by Morris Rosenberg, a former deputy minister of justice, is to measure the impact of legalization on youth, Indigenous peoples and others, as well as the economy and an illicit market that the new regime was meant to displace.

The panel is also to examine regulatory burdens on the industry and determine if a separate framework for medical marijuana -- which has been legal since 2001 -- needed to be maintained in order to provide access to patients.

The mandated review, coming one year late due to the pandemic, is expected to take 18 months.

The industry has complained about what it calls exceptionally high taxes on cannabis, a glut of stores -- both licensed and unlicensed -- and restrictions on advertising and marketing that have made it harder to compete with the black market.

At a news conference, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said preliminary data this year showed 69 percent of the cannabis market has moved from illicit sources to legal, regulated suppliers.

The review, he said, will help the government "strengthen the (cannabis) act so that it meets the needs of all Canadians while continuing to displace the illicit market."

Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett said, "We knew that young people are at increased risk of experiencing harms from cannabis, such as mental health problems including dependence and disorders related to anxiety and depression."

Public awareness campaigns, she said, have made "young people more aware of the harms of consuming cannabis," but their level of consumption has not fallen since legalization, as hoped.

Rather, it has remained relatively stable, she said.

According to government data, 25 percent of the population, or 9.5 million Canadians, used cannabis in 2021, down slightly from the previous year.

They spent an average of Can$69 (U.S.$51) on pot per month.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Is that a six-paper joint in the picture?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not studied long enough, irrational prohibitionist ignoramuses claim in desperate hopes of further stalling, obstructing, and delaying the inventible full legalization of cannabis. Do these prohibitionist politicians even care to understand and realize that not only do we already have over a decade worth of experience with stateside legalization, but also that Cannabis perhaps the most studied therapeutic substance on Earth? It’s true:

“Despite the US government’s nearly century-long prohibition of the plant, cannabis is nonetheless one of the most investigated therapeutically active substances in history. To date, there are over 20,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, nearly half of which were published within the last five years according to a keyword search on PubMed Central, the US government repository for peer-reviewed scientific research. Over 1,450 peer-reviewed papers were published in 2013 alone. (By contrast, a keyword search of “hydrocodone,” a commonly prescribed painkiller, yields just over 600 total references in the entire body of available scientific literature.)”

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/marijuana-one-most-scrupulously-researched-drugs-known-humanity-media-likes-pretend-pots

Let’s Open Our Eyes, End The Lies, and Legalize Nationwide!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This review was mandated as part of the initial legalization process.

I've been told here that the legal cannabis isn't as nice in quality, and has usually sat around for months before being sold, which is why many of the locals still shop underground.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There is more important things about Canada to write about, cannabis subject is kind of a distraction.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There is more important things about Canada to write about, cannabis subject is kind of a distraction.

Oh, you're one of those people who think the government can and should only take one action at a time.

Got it. Because that's how governments are run, right?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The entire implementation of this was/is typical of JT and his government, a mess trying to please everyone but pleasing no one. (Oh and before I am called a Con. I and my family have been Liberal voters for decades and JT is Not a real leader like his father PET).

Instead of creating a unified system with central control and laws (and yes it is possible as it is done with other things and products).

The JT government created a weak system that gave the provinces the responsibilities, leading to a mish mash of different regulations and rules.

Some provinces banned edible products, some have control on the type and appearance other just let producers do as they please.

A recent news report shows that children being brought in to ERs for cannabis related issues is far higher in provinces that permits edibles and even higher in provinces that permit edibles that look like sweets.

So in Quebec edibles look like ugly cookies or bad jerky, but I'm Ontario and other provinces they have gummy bear edibles.

Guess which one has the highest child ER visits for cannabis poisoning?

Initially Quebec banned edibles and children ER visits related to cannabis were near zero. Today even with the non candy looking edibles ER visits for cannabis overdose in children is steadily rising.

This is what you get for trying to please everyone all the time and not just doing what is right!

Another half A..ed half failure.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

StrangerlandToday  07:24 am JST

This review was mandated as part of the initial legalization process.

I've been told here that the legal cannabis isn't as nice in quality, and has usually sat around for months before being sold, which is why many of the locals still shop underground.

What exactly is 'not as nice in quality'? All cannabis in Canada must be Canadian grown in Canadian farms and/or greenhouses. No imports - no ganja, no hashish, no Columbian Gold or Panama Red.

I got some in Niagara Falls in 2019 at a dealer called 'Chooms' at a strip mall. There are restrictions on its use. The age for use in Ontario is 19, in Quebec Province it's 18. And there are restrictions on where and what circumstances you use it, just like alcohol. You have to be discreet about it.

I also bought some good weed from Tyanadaga, a Mohawk reserve that already serves as a pit stop for travelers. Just like other goods you buy there, there are no provincial taxes on cannabis there and the Mohawk farmers grow that stuff by the scads! There are many farmers dealing the stuff, I bought some more from a shop named 'Smoke On the Water'. If that's 'underground' then all I can say is - after all the crap the Canadian government has dished out to these First Nations peoples, it's about time they start getting a break!

And now it's legal in New York State, it's about time the Iroquois there start getting a break as well. This is only helping the Native North Americans and it's about time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What exactly is 'not as nice in quality'? All cannabis in Canada must be Canadian grown in Canadian farms and/or greenhouses. No imports - no ganja, no hashish, no Columbian Gold or Panama Red.

I don't know - I haven't smoked any of it. But my dad does, and many of the people I've met in the community do, and they said that the government cannabis isn't as good. The main complaint was that it's sat around and is too dry, but also that it's just not as "nice".

It's all Canadian grown though, it's just that the cannabis from the stores is grown by corporations, while the hippies are the ones growing it within the community. I walked through a park the other day leaving the train station, and there was a cannabis festival going on, with hippies selling cannabis from jars for cash only. It sure smelled nice in the park.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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