These are exciting times for the canna-culture in North America. In Canada the federal government is considering “decriminalization,” which could mean a fine for pot possession instead of court or jail time. Cannabis advocates complain that the high-priced tickets will only make it easier for the cops to persecute pot-people, while American officials decry Canadian policies as “chemical warfare” and threaten to lock down the border.
Yet even now, some pot-people question the need for cannabis to be fully freed, thinking that legal weed would mean that pot would be taken over by corporations and turned into another bland consumer product. While that is a possibility to be avoided, it is good to remember that any legal pot will have to compete with the current underground market. If the legal herb isn?t better and cheaper than the stuff on the street then no one will want it.
While the outlaw aspects of cannabis are alluring, and profitable, it is difficult to grow marijuana without falling in love with the vibrant beauty of the plant. For those who love growing cannabis, a legal environment would allow opportunities to breed and experiment on a scale never before seen in history.
Further, there will be a long period of unofficial tolerance before the laws themselves actually change. This type of situation, such as exists in the province of BC, is of benefit to growers, as they can receive the high profits of prohibition with less dire consequences than they would without activists laying down years of groundwork to introduce tolerance among popular opinion.
For growers and dealers, activists are an insurance policy, their advocates who will defend their actions for what they are: part of a noble profession providing a much valued herb to those in need.
Sadly, despite the progress we have been making, it is going to be a long time yet until marijuana is completely freed in Canada, or anywhere else on the globe. But we must seize each victory and continue to move forward, into a better future, where cannabis grows freely in every neighborhood, providing a harvest of hope and healing for the world.
Editor, Cannabis Culture