After Newness Fades, Canada Settles Down to Legal MarijuanaPosted by On


As part of The Times’s Promises Made series, I’ve looked back at Canada’s experience with becoming the first major industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana. One thing stood out during the many weeks I spent on this reporting: It may have been a major event, but it wasn’t a revolution.

“We Canadians have passed the initial phase of ‘cannabis is going to destroy us, cannabis is going to radically change our culture.’ It’s pretty evident that hasn’t happened,” said Daniel Werb, an epidemiologist and drug policy analyst at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and an assistant professor of public health at the University of California, San Diego. “One of the greatest outcomes is that it was absolutely boring. Now the initial wave of kind of euphoria and awe has passed, we understand that it’s OK to make changes to this market without things radically falling apart.”

[Read: 2 Years After Legalizing Cannabis, Has Canada Kept Its Promises?]

I found that several of the government’s key promises were fulfilled, while others remain works in progress and others still will most likely be the subject of great debate when Parliament begins a formal review of the law on its third anniversary this October, a process that will probably take a year and a half.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pitched legalization using a fairness argument. He argued that it…

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As part of The Times’s Promises Made series, I’ve looked back at Canada’s experience with becoming the first major industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana. One thing stood out during the many weeks I spent on this reporting: It may have been a major event, but it wasn’t a revolution.

“We Canadians have passed the initial phase of ‘cannabis is going to destroy us, cannabis is going to radically change our culture.’ It’s pretty evident that hasn’t happened,” said Daniel Werb, an epidemiologist and drug policy analyst at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and an assistant professor of public health at the University of California, San Diego. “One of the greatest outcomes is that it was absolutely boring. Now the initial wave of kind of euphoria and awe has passed, we understand that it’s OK to make changes to this market without things radically falling apart.”

[Read: 2 Years After Legalizing Cannabis, Has Canada Kept Its Promises?]

I found that several of the government’s key promises were fulfilled, while others remain works in progress and others still will most likely be the subject of great debate when Parliament begins a formal review of the law on its third anniversary this October, a process that will probably take a year and a half.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pitched legalization using a fairness argument. He argued that it…



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