Canada Prepares for Legalization; ⅔ of Americans Want It; New York Health Official Would Be OK With It | Marijuana

Canada Prepares for Legalization; ⅔ of Americans Want It; New York Health Official Would Be OK With It

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… marijuana should be legal.

Canadian legislation to legalize recreational marijuana passes the Senate, a new poll indicates Americans overwhelmingly support legalization – regardless of party affiliation – and New York’s Department of Health is prepared to issue a report that recommends the state legalize marijuana.

An outstanding week for those in the Great White North, it’s time to drill down on some of the noteworthy headlines for the North American marijuana industry during the week ending Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Canadian Legalization Awaits ‘Royal Assent’

Canada overturned nearly 100 years of marijuana prohibition. On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, the Senate passed landmark legislation in a 52-29 vote that establishes the rules and regulations for Canada’s newest billion-dollar industry – legal marijuana.

The bill, C-45, having already passed the House of Commons, will now be sent to the Governor General for final approval, or royal assent. Once royal assent is granted, the last obstacle on Canada’s long road to legalization north of the 49th parallel will be cleared,   and recreational marijuana sales will begin Oct. 17, 2018.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s Minister of Justice, characterized the passage as a “historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada,” on Twitter.

The first G-7 nation to legalize recreational marijuana, Canada is allowing its 10 provinces and three territories to establish their own rules with regards to distribution. As officials in British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Saskatchewan announced divergent plans on opening local stores, Ontario has rolled out plans to open approximately 150 marijuana shops by 2020.

68 Percent of Americans Support Legalization

Americans overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization, according to a new survey published by GBA Strategies and the Center for American Progress. Asked in an online survey if they “support or oppose the legalization of marijuana,” 68 percent of 1,000 registered voters responded they either “strongly” (40%) or “somewhat” (28%) support legalization.

At historic highs, marijuana legalization was supported by the majority of those surveyed – regardless of party affiliation, race, or gender:

Percentage of Support for Cannabis Legalization

The survey, conducted between April 25 and May 1, 2018, had one last gift for those with past marijuana offenses. The poll showed significant support for a proposal to seal the criminal records of nonviolent marijuana offenders.

New York Department of Health (DOH) to Recommend Legalization

In a report yet to be finalized and released, New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said the Empire State is poised to green-light some form of recreational marijuana program.

“The pros outweigh the cons, and the report recommends a regulated legal marijuana program be available to adults in the state of New York,” Zucker said.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo first announced he was ordering the report from the Department of Health during his State of the Union address. Requested as a means of assessing the impact of marijuana reform in nearby states, Cuomo has historically been skeptical of legalizing recreational marijuana. While Cuomo referred to marijuana a “gateway drug” as recently as February 2017, by January 2018 the governor was saying the pertinent “facts have changed” on the topic.

As America’s neighbors to the north prepare to embrace nationwide legalization on Oct. 17, 2018, America’s democratic philosophy has fallen under the microscope of scrutiny. While a solid majority of Americans support marijuana reform, elected officials have so far refused to respond to the will of the people. But as the 2018 midterm elections rapidly approach, that resistance may soon change. With marijuana initiatives going before the voters of several states, Nov. 6 will be the date that voters can once again flex their political muscles.

About Author

My name is Monterey Bud and I was born in Long Beach and raised on the central coast. I surf, dab, burn and write. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I have been writing about marijuana strains, science, and politics for Marijuana.com since 2012. A Big Sur cultivator from the pre-helicopter days, I'm a big fan of new strains and breaking news. I can be reached on Twitter @MontereyBud

4 Comments

  1. ancient james on

    A lifelong advocate for legalization of Cannabis even during several years of chosen abstinence, there is now the cherished realization taking place of that dream for freedom which will continue on into future generations.
    Indeed, no one is truly free until all of their neighbors are free; and indeed the choice regarding a medicine or for a healthy recreational intoxicant surely ought to be made individually by responsible adults.
    United in truth, we stand.

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