Thursday was a good day for Canada. The legalization of a banned substance far more innocuous than dozens if not hundreds of other fully legal substances or activities has now been proposed in federal legislation.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken a major step to keep one of his signature promises, which is good because he's broken too many of them already. Had this one been abandoned like electoral reform, it might've caused a complete collapse in his support among cool progressives who voted Liberal in 2015, who'd probably no longer care much if Trudeau beats out the next Conservative leader in 2019 (as there'd clearly be little difference between them.)
Now New Democrats won't be happy because those cool lefties will not be pissed at the Grits.
Conservatives won't like legalizing pot, but conservatives don't tend to like the good things in life much at all, so who cares?
The pathetic caution and unease of certain commentators I'm seeing today is definitely annoying. The media largely continues to err on the side of hysteria, producing alarmist "news" reports on today's legislation that often quote unproven "facts" about the use of marijuana, proving how out of touch they are with the public.
There are some fundamental truths that make this legalization move the best way forward: organized crime, which has benefited for decades from the ban, will lose massive profits when the underground pot market shrinks to near nothing. Profits from other drugs that remain illegal will be considerably smaller as other drugs will never be as popular as marijuana. Plus, a regulated regime will ensure that legal pot growers and sellers on the market become accountable. Those who have embraced pot but don't grow their own will now be able to know and understand what's in their pot, how it was grown, unlike today where thousands of users simply don't know. This move today is a win for public health.
Will this legalization lead to an increase in use? No. I can say that with confidence as I truly believe, as all should believe if they're honest, that most human beings are always attracted to that which is "banned" or "taboo" by greater society. Ban something, you increase curiosity about it. Legalize it and put it in boring, brand-free packaging, and make it as commonplace as beer, you take away one of its greatest appeals. Those who like pot will use it legally, the majority of Canadians who don't like pot will continue not to use it (but will at least benefit from the tax dollars raised from the legal sale of it.)
Years from now, we'll laugh about how silly it was that marijuana was illegal for so many decades. It's a shameful legacy based on lies and bullshit thinking. I'm glad we have a government that knows that and is finally prepared to do something about it.