Bolstering its reputation as the cool North American country where you want to hang out, getting publicly funded health care and listening to Rush, Canada has revealed plans to legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018. CBC News reports that, during the week of April 10, the Liberal majority in Canadian Parliament will finally lay out its strategy to allow for the possession, cultivation, and recreational consumption of marijuana, following the recommendation of a federal task force who concluded, after months of intense study, that people like to get high, so the government may as well make some money off that. In addition to generating new revenue streams, the licensing and regulation of marijuana will restrict access of the drug to anyone under 18, keep criminals from profiting, and reduce the number of people who are sent to prison on possession charges, a rational response to what has been a demonstrably failed war on the drug.
Meanwhile, in America, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that marijuana is “only slightly less awful” than heroin, because some hippies once made fun of his tie.
Legalizing marijuana was one of the key 2015 campaign promises of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose slow movement toward realizing it has recently been the subject of some politely Canadian backlash. Those deliberative steps will continue, as Trudeau has already made clear that—until it’s all signed into law and a framework for regulation has been established—marijuana remains illegal at the moment, rejecting calls to decriminalize it before then. “We’re not legalizing marijuana to please recreational users… We’ve said we’re going to do it to protect our kids and to keep the money out of the pockets of criminals,” Trudeau said last December. Any pleasure recreational marijuana users would get from being able to purchase weed from a conveniently local dispensary without a lot of extra chitchat, growing up to four plants in their home, and not having to drone on about the disproportionate stigma placed on it compared to alcohol—in addition to not being arrested—would simply be an additional little buzz atop the deeper mellow of knowing that it’s all for the kids.
If and when the law is passed, Canada would become the largest country in the world to end marijuana prohibition. Meanwhile, America will continue to permanently ban Canadians who so much as admit to smoking marijuana at some point in their past and generally being a weird, stodgy asshole about everything until everyone over 60 finally dies.