Yes, I said it. Back in 2014, a "green rush" began as mainstream investors started realizing the huge profits that could be made in the cannabis business when just two states had legal sales of recreational cannabis. With legal recreational use likely less than a year away, why haven't we yet seen a spike in share prices for Canadian cannabis stocks?
These bylaws are so restrictive because they were written under the shadow of the Harper government. Now that we have the Liberals in power, and with such clear opposition to the current bylaws from the people of Vancouver, it is time for Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver to rethink their plan.
Pot dispensaries, cannabis cafes, medical marijuana clinics, smoke shops, vapour lounges -- cannabis culture has gained a foothold in Toronto. Some neighbourhoods have had little to no infiltration, but many have had a staggering number of pot dispensaries open along the main street, out in the open.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has written a letter to the head of Municipal Licensing and Standards to ask for a report and recommendations for dealing with what he called the "verging on out of control" growth of medical marijuana dispensaries. Let's compare their health and safety impacts to industries that already exist.
Cannabis has been a medicine for far longer than it has been a drug. There are many different theories of its history, and signs of it date back to the old testament and ancient europe, all over Asia, and spread down into Africa. Ancient history is a matter of interpretation and the details remain in debate, but cannabis use was a huge part of culture and medicine in distant parts of the world. As a medical user, I do still get high some times for fun. But that's not the whole picture.
Last week we saw the Pharmacy Association weigh in on the future of medicinal cannabis distribution in Canada. They want in now, saying they should be the "front line" in dispensing the drug. It is an interesting reversal from their earlier position on medicinal cannabis, so let's try to understand why.
We've all experienced that annoyance, maybe on the bus, at work, in parks and malls in every corner of the province. Packs of medicinal cannabis users vaping their cannabis, wantonly blowing their cannabis vapour in our faces, laughing at us while they "get high." Call me sheltered, but I have never encountered it.
In Nunavut and the North West Territories, about one per cent of the population gets arrested for a cannabis offence every year. That is an astoundingly high rate of arrests, especially when compared with cities like Vancouver, where such arrests are very rare. So, why continue to criminalize possession in some parts of the country and not others?
Ending cannabis prohibition must also make right the mistakes of the past. When we legalize cannabis we must not forget those who are still in jail now for cannabis, or the many Canadians with cannabis criminal records. We want a quick and easy process for Canadians to apply to have their cannabis criminal records expunged.