Canada legalizes recreational marijuana

Marsha Scott
October 17, 2018

This is never actually going to be smoked.

Pot smoker Ian Power said: "I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall".

"Prohibition has ended right now".

Cars drove by honking their horns, a few shouting "Happy Cannabis" at the excited crowd.

"There will be a lot of celebrations on the day, and it will nearly all be with illegal cannabis" in some of Canada's biggest cities, said Brad Poulos, an instructor and cannabis business expert at Ryerson University in Toronto.

He said he's excited for the stigma around cannabis use and the "stupid stoner" image to change, and for those historic changes to begin in Newfoundland.

"I think it's one of the biggest moments of my life", he said.

Where can I buy it?

California, the largest legal market in the USA, earlier this month became the first state with a law mandating expungement of criminal convictions for marijuana-related offenses that no are longer illegal.

Canada's national approach has allowed for unfettered industry banking, inter-province shipments of cannabis and billions of dollars in investment - a sharp contrast with national prohibition in the United States.

The waiting period and the cost of applying for a pardon, known as a record suspension, have proven hard for some people saddled with records.

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"My father is going to be my first customer, and my second customer is going to be a lady who has [multiple sclerosis],' Thomas Clarke, who owns Thomas H. Clarke's Distribution cannabis retail store in Portugal Cove-St".

Clarke has been selling cannabis for over two decades, and said he wrote in his high school yearbook that his ultimate dream was to open a pot shop in Amsterdam. He made the first sale to his dad. "It's better to know what's in your cannabis".

Back on Water Street, The Natural Vibe opened to slightly less fanfare than Tweed, but a line of customers still stretched down the street, with some saying waiting in line was "akin to Disney World".

The day was historic for the country as adult Canadians will be able to legally smoke recreational marijuana after almost a century-long ban.

"Additional licensed cannabis retail stores will open in the coming months, as private cannabis retailers proceed through the regulatory and permit process", the province said.

As the clock struck one minute past midnight, eager bud-beavers were able to place orders of cannabis on the province's online store.

Now that the transaction is complete, he says he plans on vacuum sealing and framing the first gram of marijuana legally sold in the country.

Some health care professionals in Canada have said they are afraid of the consequences of legalizing marijuana.

However, many provincial governments' approval of only a small number of shops so far, and a shortage of weed supplied to these stores, means most Canadians' first toke on Wednesday will likely be of black-market pot.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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