Canadian Cannabis – Will it Cross the Border?

And how is it relevant to the US?

Robert Jackson, Entertainment Co-Editor

Canada legalized marijuana last Wednesday, so the question is how it will affect us in the US.

American adults over the age of 21 in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Maine can already possess and smoke marijuana recreationally.

Only medical (generally non-smokable) forms of marijuana are legal in New York state, which is proving to be long road of regulations. Yet we share a long border with Ontario, Canada, where a large percentage of that country’s population is centered.

For years, New Yorkers who turn 19, the legal drinking age in Canada, have made trips across the border to celebrate. This is obviously a risky behavior, as you have to drive to get there and back, but still fairly common. But by adding marijuana to the list of things available, what will the effects be on New Yorkers and Americans in general?

It may lead to smugglers trying to bring some into America, which would in turn make the US Border Patrol and customs experiences even harsher than they already are, possibly increasing wait times for Americans who re-enter from Canada.

It may also affect America’s already existing marijuana farms less valuable because now there is competition from the north.

This may also lead to even more legalization of marijuana in the US, and therefore possibly less legal discrimination against those who use it, because the original reason weed was made illegal in the early 1900s (just after the Mexican Revolution) was that it was used as an excuse to limit immigration into the US. The media began to play on the fears Americans had about Mexican immigrants by falsely spreading claims about the “evil drug,” and Congress then lumped the drug in with heroin. 

So it wasn’t made illegal for its effects on people, but in fact, it actually does have therapeutic effects like decreasing anxiety/stress, reducing pain, and in New York can be legally used to treat: Cancer, Chronic pain, Multiple sclerosis, Glaucoma, Epilepsy, and even Huntington’s disease.

Its drawbacks are that it is possible to acquire paranoia, and in rare cases, psychosis. If you are a teenager, and your brain is still developing, use of marijuana may slow its development or harm your ability to focus.

The Canadian decision has already been made, so only time will tell how it affects the rest of us.