Article by Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of Why Is CBD Beneficial For Senior Citizens?
Of course, Canada’s population (38 million) is smaller than California (40 million) French-speaking Quebec has approximately 10 million.
One significant difference is that the legal age for cannabis, reflecting its legal age for alcohol, is 19, while in the US states it is 21.
As a consequence of national legalization, Canada became the home of some of the earliest recreational marijuana public companies, but the small Canadian population limited their potential.
In any case, legalization was not inevitable. It would not have happened without the election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister in 2015.
Under the previous Conservative government, Canada was rabidly prohibitionist, but one major difference between the US and Canada was the quality of journalism. While the major US media followed the Prohibitionist Party Line with North Korean zeal, major Canadian papers actually followed journalistic standards, and they were anti-prohibitionist in their editorial policies.
On the other hand, Health Canada their health care bureaucracy was very much like its US counterpart and devoted to Reefer Madness. I started calling it “Death Canada” and it was appalling.
For example, in January of 2005 HC put out a report: “Teens See Marijuana As Less Harmful Than Cigarettes”
Health Canada spent $56,000 on a report and explained, “The report was prepared for Health Canada's bid to help teens develop coping and refusal skills.” Just say, Nay.
A poll released in November of 2005 reported that almost 30% of Canadian teens 15- to 17-years old and 47% of 18- and 19-year-olds had used marijuana in the past year. One of the highest in the world.
Of course, that was substantially higher than in The Netherlands, “One in five Dutch teens have tried smoking cannabis, which is well above the European average of 16%, and 13% have smoked it in the month before the survey, putting the Netherlands on a par with France and just behind Italy at the top of the marijuana users list.”
The Dutch also emphasize the separation of the markets for “hard” and “soft” drugs. So, cannabis prohibition is a counterproductive fraud.
Statistica.com reports: Almost half of Canadians report that they have used an illicit drug at some point in their lifetime, with cannabis being the most used illicit drug, followed by hallucinogens, cocaine/crack, and ecstasy.