Legalising Cannabis Is A Smoking Gun For Governments

Legalising cannabis has long been a smoking gun for governments, but the end of prohibition has passed without a whimper in Canada.

The Commonwealth nation has become the second country to allow personal use of the drug.

Both Canada and Uruguay – the first to legalise the drug in 2013 – are facing a period of growing pains as their nations adjust to a brave new world.

The worry is taking cannabis opens the door for some people to use harder drugs.

But strong controls limit cannabis availability in Uruguay and the government has seen no evidence of this soft to hard drug progression since legalisation.

Grass root demand

Only a handful of pharmacies sell cannabis in Uruguay and nearly all are in the capital Montevideo.

In Canada, many suppliers have run out of cannabis as demand rocketed on the first day the drug was available for sale.

Many retailers sold out within hours and some saw huge queues.

The government is celebrating a tax windfall. Cannabis worth almost £400,000 was sold on the first day – and a slice of that cash goes into government coffers.

Despite legalisation, it’s still illegal to smoke cannabis and drive, which led to the first motorist to receive a ticket for flouting the offence just an hour after the drug was available in stores.

Ineffective laws

The Canadian government has already published web pages explaining the new laws.

The content explains anyone over 18 can possess or share with other adults up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in a public place. They can also grow up to four plants at home.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argues Canada’s laws outlawing the drug are ineffective.

He also claimed that legalising the drug will starve criminals of income and raise $400 million in tax revenue.

Cannabis is also available legally to a lesser extent in several American states and The Netherlands.

In Britain, a recent survey found 43% of people support recreational use of cannabis, with more than 2 million people admitting use of the drug within the past 12 months.

However, the law threatens an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail