It is now a likelihood that Cannabis will be legal for adult use as throughout Canada early as July 2018 now that a governmental task force issued its final report on why it is best to tax and regulate Cannabis across the country. The framework report can be found here. In this report the Canadian task force determined that all Canadian citizens over the age of 18 should be legally permitted to use and even grow certain amounts of Cannabis. This determination came because of the significant evolution of access to Cannabis in Canada that has happened over the last two decades through the medical Cannabis system that Canada now has. As the report states, what had been learned over time from a medical Cannabis economy, translates to informed thinking by the task force members on the benefits of non-medical Cannabis.
The report goes on to say that “A sophisticated commercial industry that cultivates and distributes cannabis by mail and courier to individuals who require it for medical purposes, and who are under the care of a physician or nurse practitioner, exists in Canada today, with 36 licensed producers in operation at the time of writing this report. This new industry operates under the authority of federal regulations (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) which set out product quality control measures and strict security standards to protect public health and safety. Task Force members had the opportunity to visit some of these producers and were impressed by the sophistication and quality of their work.” It continues by saying that a parallel and illicit market for non-medical Cannabis operates in Canada that must be stopped to protect public safety.
When looking at public safety, the task force went on to examine the comparable hazards of Cannabis compared to alcohol and tobacco. It found that based on a 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) ranking of leading global risk factors for disease, Cannabis is not even included in the list but that it does include alcohol (ranked 3rd) and tobacco (ranked 6th). For reasons like this the task force came to the conclusion that Cannabis regulation should be reduced and that, as is the current policy shift, Canada should continue to more heavily regulate alcohol and tobacco. It also included a hope that as Cannabis is more fully regulated for legal adult use, that lessons are learned from the historical attempts to regulate tobacco and alcohol and the many problems that happened then.
In the report, the task force created a series of guiding principles. These principles are:
To get more information on the determinations in specific areas of this policy statement continue to check in the upcoming weeks for additional AMMA PAC blog posts. These additional posts will more specifically look into the task force recommendations by subject matter.
Source: Government of Canada: Final Report of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation