Interesting Conversations Around Canada and Pot

Canadians seem to have a desire for munchies, according to a new poll that found a majority that is healthful both supported the legalization of recreational pot use but had concerns about children’s access to products that are edible containing cannabis.

The poll by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that roughly 68 percent of people across the country favor the impending legalization of marijuana, with the bulk of this support in B.C. and Ontario.

Over 45 percent said they would buy food containing marijuana, with 46 percent saying they would purchase baked goods when they were legal.

More than half of those surveyed said they had concerns about the potential harms to kids who might be attracted to carbonated candy, cookies and other confections containing the psychoactive chemical. In B.C., by way of example, about 81 percent of those surveyed expressed concern over increased accessibility to marijuana by young adults. With the means to purchase weed online it’s no surprise this tech-based generation will have easy access.

“The risk factor around children was quite high in 58.5 percent, so there looks like a little paradox out there,” said Sylvain Charlebois, a professor of food distribution and policy in Dalhousie who co-authored the report released Tuesday. “On the one hand, individuals are willing to accept the legalization of non-medicinal marijuana but in the exact same time they do recognize societal risks associated with doing this.”

Some Difficulties with the UN arise:

Canada has signed three UN drug treaties, one dating from 1961, pledging to ban marijuana (and other medications). We could leave the treaties after a notice period, but legalizing bud by next July, as the Liberals have claimed, would have required giving the UN notice by Canada Day, which is three weeks ago. Despite all this Canada weed is still coming in most people’s minds, but there’s always an international risk.

“Before July 1, I was calling for Canada to withdraw from the three UN drug control treaties,” Hoffman says. “They’re outdated treaties, which don’t signify the current stats of science and medicine. The treaties were adopted in a time when there was another view of what dependency was.”

“The government has promised to make cannabis legal by July 1, 2018, but that date can always be postponed so as to give Canada time to address its international legal obligations.”

(This option might appeal to the provinces, which need to figure out how to set up and control a retail cannabis distribution platform that might be in place less than a year out. On Tuesday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister called on Ottawa to postpone legalization for a year, citing what he called “a tremendous variety of unanswered questions.”)

In Canada, there is a new Act set up that looks to:

  • Restrict youth access
  • Protect young people from advertising or enticements to use cannabis
  • Deter and reduce criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those breaking the law, especially those who import, export or supply cannabis to childhood
  • Protect public health through strict product security and quality demands
  • Supply for the legal production of cannabis to decrease illegal activities
  • Permit adults to get an access controlled, quality controlled lawful cannabis

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