Marijuana Vote a Game-Changer for Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may be dismissive about the fact that the states of Washington and Colorado voted in favour of legalizing marijuana last week, but they have set the stage for a game changer, however complicated.

Ironically, last Tuesday’s vote on the day of the U.S. election fell on the same day that the Harper government’s Safe Streets and Communities Act with tougher drug possession laws came into effect.

Whether Harper likes it or not, individual states in the U.S. are inching forward while Canada’s drug laws are going backwards.

The game changer is that Colorado and Washington are the first states to vote in favour of the sale and use of small amounts of recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana laws have existed in some states for well over a decade (California was the first to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996) and Canada has a formal system to regulate the medicinal use of the plant. In the U.S., 18 states and the District of Columbia (over one third of the country) now have similar laws in play. In 2011, the medical marijuana business was worth US$1.7 billion and growing.

Granted, enacting the voting outcome in Colorado and Washington is going to be a complicated and probably lengthy process for policy makers. They have to find ways to reconcile state law with U.S. federal law under which marijuana is illegal. But the forces of change to repeal prohibition have been nipping at the heels of policy makers for decades.

– Read the entire article at Chilliwack Progress.



  1. Jacob on

    It’s the fucking Harper government. They are too afraid to make the right decision and legalize marijuana. Instead they spend OUR tax dollars on enforcing this harmless plant. Any “crime” involving marijuana possession or usage is a victim-less crime for which should not be punished. Is the Harper government to stupid to understand that? Yes. Just the fact that they are increasing the enforcement on it makes me believe that they are completely oblivious to common sense and logic. Our government is not doing what the people want, they are doing things that they want to do despite our voices and needs. The government is supposed to represent it’s people. Harper does everything but that. What a shame.

  2. Teppy1954 on

    I couldn’t agree more. Harper is showing his ultra right wing western conservative stripe. The right exists based on the old fear that someone is having a better time than you are, AND IT MUST BE STOPPED, or worse, Marijuana is all those awful stupid characterizations that we have debunked over the last 30 years.

    Folks, we are a rapidly growing majority in this country. Our problem is that we are complacently waiting for someone to step up and tell parliamentarians that prohibition does nothing except clog the courts, makes regular everyday people into criminals. The institutionalized ignorance needs to stop.

  3. bb54 on

    The fucking problem of fucking Canada is to get rid of fucking Harper and fucking Nicholson. Thats the fucking bottom line no matter what the fucking Canadians think.