Legalization may make it more difficult to buy marijuana in Canada. Vancouver City Hall announced that they will start licensing the Vancouver city marijuana dispensaries.
[VANCOUVER, BC– June 23, 2015] – Though the vice laws in Canada have seen many changes in the last few years, it has not radically affected how law enforcement and the Canadians behave. On April 20, 2015, Vancouver was home to the world’s unofficial marijuana holiday. More than 30,000 people convened around the Vancouver Art Gallery for the annual smoke out. The event that began in the 1990’s has since become the largest open air markets in Vancouver. The event included more than 300 vendors selling marijuana infused products. Interestingly enough, since the event is technically considered to be a protest, there are no permits required, no age limits, and no sales tax collected, as it is considered illegal transactions. Several thousand people gathered for the event, and it is treated more as a civic union rather than something to be stopped by the police. Though police are there, they are only there to direct traffic and assure public safety. This leads one to wonder, is it legal or illegal?
Technically, marijuana, it’s by products, derivatives and preparations, are banned in Canada. Those needing it for medical purposes can obtain marijuana, with a doctor’s authorization, from an Ottawa-sanctioned catalogue of commercial growers. Otherwise, those found in possession of marijuana are subject up to five years in a federal prison. In current times, thousands live their entire lives without a clue that cannabis is illegal. Though in smaller locales being in possession of a joint might get you arrested, in larger locales, it is easier to get high now than it could ever be under legalization. As such, Vancouver City Hall recently announced that they would begin licensing over 80 of the city’s marijuana dispensaries. This is more than the amount of McDonald’s franchises in the area. Though the city does not have jurisdiction regulating the sale of marijuana, it does have jurisdiction to regulate how and where businesses operate. Despite the license Vancouver provides dispensaries, the purchase and sale of cannabis remains illegal. The activity continues however because the Vancouver law enforcement has openly declared they have no intention of doing anything about it. With this, most citizens under the age of 30 years old, have never known a world in which they could be cited for anything less than shipping a container full of cannabis. It is important to note that though there is a sense of acceptance to marijuana the rally event sent 64 people to hospital with symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Seven per cent of drivers that were injured in car crashes had consumed marijuana just hours earlier, and two year ago, marijuana was named as the reason for a trail derailment of a B.C. train.
With the ability to obtain marijuana tax-free and readily available on most street corners in Vancouver, other cities may quickly following leading many to wonder, is it legal or illegal?