There’s considerable discussion around town these days on the topic of cannabis legalization. That may not even be the right term, but it’ll do for now. In fact it’s not a free-for-all, and plenty about it will still be illegal. What the federal government is doing – as Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman put it recently – is ‘sliding the scale of legality,’ and leaving the details up to the provinces and municipalities.
Sliding the scale means possessing small amounts will no longer be illegal; nor will growing a few plants in your home or consuming the stuff. And of course retail sales of approved products will become kosher. Where they will be allowed to do this, as well as where consumption will be tolerated, are questions municipal governments are now wrestling with.
The folks responsible for public health are also scrambling to figure out what might happen and how it might affect people. Will there be an upswing in consumption? Will people who stayed away from cannabis due to its illegality now rush to give it a try?
Is it addictive? Yes it is, say health officials, so let’s talk about it. Let’s get the facts out there.
All of this is going on, in the rush to be ready for the ‘Big Day,’ which is reputed to be Oct. 17. It’s an unseemly rush, claim opponents. Stop worrying and let’s get on with it, say others. It’s not such a big deal. Prohibition doesn’t work, and so on.
All good arguments, so it’s hard to know how to come down on the issue. Generally speaking, though, the more information the better.