This is a guide on some of what you need to know before July 1st, 2018.
It has been an exciting year and dangerous year for the cannabis community. For those who are heavily involved, its become standard to understand legalities, hyper used words and legalization. On the hand, some still misunderstand all the classifications of marijuana and who classifies to what. In addition, understanding all of it can be confusing for non-smokers.
The Misunderstood Terms
Legalization is the action of making something that was previously illegal permissible by law.
Legislation is a law or set of laws suggested by the government and made official by parliament.
Decriminalization is to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status. Also, to repeal a strict ban on while keeping under some form of regulation
So, what is the difference?
Decriminalization is a loosening of criminal penalties now is imposed for personal marijuana use. However, the manufacturing and sale of the substance remain illegal. Essentially, under decriminalization, law enforcement is instructed to look the other way when it comes to the possession of small amounts of marijuana meant for personal use. So if you are caught using the substance, you’ll face civil fines instead of criminal charges.
Legalization, on the other hand, is the lifting or abolishment of laws banning the possession and personal use of marijuana. More importantly, it allows the government to regulate and tax marijuana use and sales.
The Cannabis Act
via Huffington Post
This enactment enacts the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.
The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. With these objectives, it could lead to reduced burden on the criminal justice system.
Following Royal Assent, the Government of Canada intends to bring the proposed Cannabis Act into force no later than July 2018. At that time, adults would be able to legally possess, grow and purchase limited amounts of cannabis.
Until then, the current cannabis laws still apply.
Bill C-46, the second cannabis bill, contains proposed criminal code amendments that would strengthen Criminal Code provisions covering the operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, including cannabis. Drivers with five ng/ml, or 2.5 ng/ml combined with a minimum blood alcohol level of .05, face increased penalties for a first, second and third offence. Word on where edibles would apply is still in motion.
So, What About Dispensaries?
via The Star
With the inception of non-profit medical cannabis compassion clubs in the mid-late 1990’s in Canada, many people started a wave of marijuana dispensaries in response to the profitable aspect of the nascent medical cannabis industry.
Storefront operations selling cannabis, that are not licensed by Health Canada under the current law and are illegal. They are supplied by illegal growers and sell untested, unregulated products that may be unsafe.
These unlicensed shops saw the backlash from the government in 016 and 2017 with the numerous raids done and arrests made to employees and shop owners.
With the recent municipal regulating of compassion clubs, there are also major cities in Canada now starting to regulate marijuana dispensaries with licensing agreements, such as the City of Vancouver and Victoria, BC.
In the USA, some states have already legalized on state-regulated storefronts. This includes Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Washington DC.
Travelling With Marijuana
Overall, travelling with marijuana is illegal. While the marijuana laws of some US states have changed, the laws and regulations related to airline travel and marijuana have not changed at all. The law in Canada has yet to pass, therefore, it is still illegal. Worldly, there are places that have decriminalized or legalized marijuana but this still does not allow for air travel.
Whether it is medical or recreational marijuana, the same law applies. This also means mailing your product to yourself in another state, province or country is illegal too. However, places like Canada gives allowance to travel within your own country for medical purposes.
Understandably, people need their medicine. Always make sure to call and check with your departure airports on their policies for medical marijuana use. Have your card and paperwork handy and always make sure to never pack any products into your checked luggage.