The Liberals have been voted in, the rein of our quasi-dictator Harper is officially over and Trudeau has declared legalization a priority in the name of public health. This is fantastic news for everyone who has their hand in the business. A patient consuming cannabis for medical reasons now has more options than ever with regards to places they can purchase their medicine, and ways to ingest it as well. Recreation users also have more options and places to smoke/eat/ingest due to the multiple businesses popping up that cater to those needs. Those business owners, too, are carving out spots in the market so that they can be successful entrepreneurs in an industry they are passionate about.
The cannabis industry is just like the plant it is based around: with a little attention it is growing into something truly great.
However, in spite of all this good news, there are still many people all across the country that are being arrested and incarcerated for a law that has finally been declared unjust. These continual arrests and imprisonments have a domino effect that extend throughout our society. It starts with a person consuming a (naturally occurring) plant and then watching as their future is ripped away from them. The ripple effect from these humble beginnings is large-scale, but one devastating example is the child who is forced to grow up without their parent. Time will pass, years will be wasted, and a child will grow up without the person that loves them most in the world, and without their guidance and stability. This says nothing of that parent who will inevitably rot away in a jail cell from about as innocuous a crime as you could find, and as their friends, family and child(ren) grow older we can barely imagine their sadness and regret. And for what?
Our society can only suffer from ripping peaceful people out of their lives, and the lives of those around them, just to pay to incarcerate them. It is absolutely unreasonable to have this continue at the same time as we are preparing to fully legalize cannabis. Legalizing will be about more than just the written law, it will be a chance for cannabis to be reintegrated into society in a way that deems it “acceptable”. This is beyond being merely socially responsible – it is imperative. Right now, while the stigma of being “illegal” stands, sick people are being denied – or just as bad, are denying themselves – medicine that could ease their pain and maybe save their lives. It's time that we, as consumers of cannabis, are no longer ostracized, imprisoned, or denied medicine.
But we have to stand up for the rights that we deserve, and not continue to be bullied by these archaic laws enabled by our government. We as individuals do have power when it comes to our governing body, it just needs to be exercised. And there is no time like the present! It takes less effort than you are imagining to help enact real change. Send a letter to your MP and urge them to impress upon our Prime Minister the necessity of an immediate freeze on arrests of peaceful pot smokers in Canada.
If you are in need of some inspiration or are wondering what to say, search Jodie Emery's social media as she has a letter you can reference and/or use.
If you are tired of being treated like a second-class citizen, stand up and say something about it!
Sometimes the world is just like my family's dinner table: you have to shout to be heard and no one will pass you the salt unless it's demanded. Cannabis users of all types deserve full rights – and an immediate freeze on arrests – because we cannot continue to be denied fair treatment in our society. It's time to speak up and be heard. Now pass me the salt!