Posted on

is it legal to possess marijuana seeds in canada

Canada becomes second country to legalise recreational cannabis

Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.

But concerns remain, including about the readiness for police forces to tackle drug impaired driving.

Information has been sent to 15m households about the new laws and there are public awareness campaigns.

Ian Power, from the town of St John's began queuing at 20:00 local time so he could "make history". Newfoundland is half an hour ahead of the next province to the west.

"It's been my dream to be the first person to buy the first legal gram of cannabis in Canada, and here I finally am," he said.

Canadian provinces and municipalities have been preparing for months for the end of cannabis prohibition. They are responsible for setting out where cannabis can be bought and consumed.

This has created a patchwork of more or less restrictive legislation across the country.

How ready is Canada for legal cannabis?

There remain unanswered questions on some key issues around how legal cannabis will work in Canada.

A number of analysts are predicting a shortage of recreational marijuana in the first year of legalisation as production and licensing continues to ramp up to meet demand.

And the marketplace itself is still in its infancy.

Ontario, Canada's most populous province, will only begin opening retail stores next spring, though residents will be able to order cannabis online.

British Columbia, one of the provinces with the highest rates of cannabis use, will only have one legal store open on Wednesday.

Until retail locations are more widely available, some unlicensed cannabis retailers, which have flourished in the years since the law was first proposed, may stay open.

It is unclear if police will crack down on them immediately, or if they will turn a blind eye.

What's at stake?

Jessica Murphy, BBC News, Vancouver

Legal pot has been an inescapable topic for months in Canada, as governments and companies prepared in earnest for 17 October.

That day is finally here, and Canadians will learn just how much – or how little – the new framework will change the country. But this is not just a domestic affair.

With global trends shifting away from a strict prohibition of cannabis, the world will be watching this national experiment in drug liberalisation.

A measure of success – whether legalisation will be a win for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of the 2019 federal election – will depend on whether it meets his stated goals: restricting access of the drug to youth – who are among the heaviest users in Canada – reducing the burden of cannabis laws on the justice system, and undercutting the illicit market for the drug.

And if the outcomes are positive, other countries might just be more willing to follow suit.

Why is Canada legalising cannabis?

Legalisation fulfils a 2015 campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the leader of the governing Liberal Party.

The prime minister has argued that Canada's nearly century-old laws criminalising use of the drug have been ineffective, given that Canadians are still among the world's heaviest users.

He said the new law is designed to keep drugs out of the hands of minors and profits out of the hands of criminals.

See also  how to choose the healthies marijuana seeds

The federal government also predicts it will raise $400m a year in tax revenues on the sale of cannabis.

Cannabis possession first became a crime in Canada in 1923 but medical use has been legal since 2001.

What is the situation elsewhere?

Canada follows in the footsteps of Uruguay, which became the first country in the world to legalise the sale of cannabis for recreational use in 2013. A number of US states have also voted to end prohibition.

Medical marijuana is also gaining ground in many European countries. Portugal and the Netherlands have decriminalised the drug.

South Africa's highest court legalised the use of cannabis by adults in private places in September, though the sale of the drug remains a crime.

In April, Zimbabwe became the second country in Africa, after Lesotho, to legalise the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Nine US states have legalised recreational marijuana use while many more allow its use on medical grounds.

What are the new rules around cannabis?

Adults will be able buy cannabis oil, seeds and plants and dried cannabis from licensed producers and retailers and to possess up to 30 grams (one ounce) of dried cannabis in public, or its equivalent.

Edibles, or cannabis-infused foods, will not be immediately available for purchase but will be within a year of the bill coming into force. The delay is meant to give the government time to set out regulations specific to those products.

It will be illegal to possess more than 30 grams in public, grow more than four plants per household and to buy from an unlicensed dealer.

Penalties for some infraction will be severe. Someone caught selling the drug to a minor could be jailed for up to 14 years.

Some critics say the penalties are too harsh and not proportional to similar laws like those around selling alcohol to minors.

What are the concerns?

On Monday, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published an editorial calling legalisation "a national, uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians".

There are also still some legal wrinkles to be worked out.

Canada has brought in new drug impaired driving offences, but doubts remain about the reliability of screening technology and the potential for drugged driving cases to clog up the courts.

Federal statistics indicate that about half of all cannabis users do not believe their driving is impaired after taking marijuana.

On Wednesday, government officials announced they will present legislation intended to fast-track pardon applications of people who have been convicted of possession under 30g (one ounce). There are currently some 500,000 Canadians with existing criminal records for possession.

The change in national drug policy has also created headaches with the US, where the drug remains federally a controlled substance.

On Tuesday, the US Customs Border Protection Agency said border guards will have "broad latitude" to determine who is admissible to the country.

Border guards may ask Canadians if they smoke cannabis, and deny them entry if they believe they intend to do so in the US.

Canada has also been rolling out signs at all airports and border crossings to warn travellers that crossing international borders with the drug remains illegal.

See also  can you buy marijuana seeds in virginia

Canada’s cannabis legalization goes into effect

Canadians can now purchase and grow their own marijuana after a two-year effort by the government. While enthusiasts have hailed the move, some health officials have warned of the perils of an “uncontrolled experiment.”

Canadian provinces chuffed over pot bonanza

Canada on Wednesday became the first industrialized Western nation to legalize cannabis as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government completed a 2015 campaign pledge.

Beforehand, only medical marijuana had been legal in the North American country.

A regulated industry:

  • While Canadians must be 18 years old to purchase cannabis, several provinces have bumped up the age requirement. Quebec is pushing the legal age to 21 years.
  • Canadians can possess up to 30 grams (1.05 ounces) and grow up to four plants at home.
  • Some provinces have imposed a profit cap, such as Newfoundland, which has limited total profits on cannabis to 8 percent.
  • Smoking cannabis is prohibited everywhere where tobacco smoking is banned.
  • Cannabis concentrates, liquids for vaporizers and edibles are still banned under current legislation. Health authorities say they do not have sufficient evidence about their impact on public health.

Many young Canadians attended countdown events to welcome legalization

Targeting crime

Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, the first Canadian minister for organized crime reduction, said the move is aimed at upending the black market, which criminal organizations have greatly benefited from.

“For almost a century, criminal enterprises had complete control of this market, 100 percent of its production and distribution, and they profited in the billions of dollars each year. I suspect they’re not going to go gently into the night,” he told AFP news agency.

German economist Justus Haucap of the Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf told DW that tackling criminal networks will take time.

“It is not possible to dry up the black market from one day to the next,” said Haucap. “This takes time.”

Better bud

Haucap told DW that by regulating the industry, the final product should technically be of a better quality than what can be purchased on the streets.

“Legal cannabis will be quality-controlled,” Haucap said, noting that illegal cannabis often contains pesticides and other additives potentially-dangerous additives.

Enthusiasm for weed is reaching new highs

‘Uncontrolled experiment’

But not everyone is on board with the move. Diane Kelsall, who serves as editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medial Association Journal, has described the legalization of cannabis as “a national, uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.”

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Cannabis – smoke it or wear it

The cannabis plant contains the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It makes people feel euphoric and relaxed and can also alleviate pain. The flowers of infertilized female plants contain particularly high amounts of THC, that’s why they are taken for producing marihuana. Some cannabis species do not contain any THC at all and are grown for fiber production.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Better than aspirin

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) produces – you guessed it – opium. To harvest it, you simply incise the capsules and let the white latex exude and dry. Opium contains high amounts of morphine, the strongest existing pain medication. A chemical variation of morphine provides the semi-synthetic drug heroin.

See also  marijuana seed sale policy mass law
Mother Nature’s drug lab

Fancy a magic mushroom?

Mushrooms are chemical artists – some of them even produce psychoactive substances. Among them: this grey-coloured Pluteus salicinus. It grows on wood and contains psilocybin, which causes visual and mental hallucinations similar to LSD. Side effects are nausea and panic attacks.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Drug snack to go

Leaves of the coca plant harbour chemical compounds similar to cocaine. They alleviate pain and act as stimulants. In many countries in Latin America, chewing on raw coca leaves is quite common. It helps tourists deal better with altitude sickness, too. By fermenting and drying the leaves and processing them chemically, cocaine is produced.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Beautiful poisonous flowers

Angel’s trumpets are beautiful to look at but you should refrain from tasting them. All parts of the plant contain alkaloids – chemical compounds with strong effects on the human body. When you eat or smoke the plant, your heart rate will increase and you will start to hallucinate. As with all natural drugs, finding the right dosage is difficult. Deadly accidents occur quite often.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Bummer with thornapple

On the internet, poisonous Datura plants – also known as thornapples – are advertised as natural drugs as well. Really not a good idea: The plant induces strong hallucinations, sometimes with a complete loss of reality. People tend to hurt themselves severely under its influence.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Hawaiian Babies

Argyreia nervosa is native to Asia, even though the plant is called Hawaiian baby woodrose. The seeds of this climbing vine contain ergine, a compound similar to LSD. It causes colourful visions and euphoria but also nausea, prickling and psychoses. Overdosing can happen easily as one seed alone already has a strong effect.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Ecstasy with cactus

The peyote cactus in Mexico and Texas is full of mescaline, a hallucinogenic compound that is illegal under the international Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Mescaline alters thinking processes and one’s sense of time and self-awareness. The cactus is cut into pieces and eaten or boiled into a tea. The cactus species is now listed on the Red List as vulnerable.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Beware of nutmeg

Nutmeg in high amounts can act as a drug, since it contains the hallucinogenic compound myristicin. But don’t worry: you’ll never reach the necessary dosage if you only use nutmeg as a spice. Getting high on nutmeg seems a bad idea anyway, as side effects include headaches, nausea and diarrhea.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

Psychedelic leaves?

Yes, it’s true: the evergreen kratom tree (Mitragyna speciosa), native to Southeast Asia, incorporates the opioid-like compound mitragynine into its leaves. In traditional medicine, the leaves are chewed to relieve pain, increase appetite and treat diarrhea. But they can also be used to mix drug cocktails.

Mother Nature’s drug lab

One of nature’s most dangerous killers

The tobacco plant produces poisonous and addictive chemicals, such as nicotine and other alkaloids, and harbours them inside its leaves. With this poisonous cocktail, the plant tries to ward off animals that might want to eat it. When the leaves are dried and smoked, the chemicals enter the human body – together with many cancerous substances generated by burning tabacco.