April Fools: Canadian Recreational Legalization

By Anne Holland
According to a Canadian newspaper’s April Fools Day headline this morning, government officials in the province of Manitoba are considering legalizing recreational sales as soon as Easter weekend, and this action could serve as a test case for legalization across the rest of Canada in future.

Although no official government statement has been issued yet regarding the story, it supposedly was based on emails between unnamed government officials which were obtained under Canada’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The faux emails indicated officials were inspired by hearing that Colorado’s recreational sales tax revenues are already $3.5 million for 2014. One email read in part, “Finally, we’ll be able to get some money from those hippy potheads.”

In the meantime, in the real world there has been good news for Canadian MMJ evangelists. Last week a federal judge granted a temporary reprieve to the 37,000 Canadian MMJ caregivers and patients who are licensed to grow limited quantities of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Heretofore, these citizens would have been subject to police arrest if they continued growing past an April 30th deadline.

Health Canada plans to appeal this ruling, but the court battle could be lengthy. And, with increasing movement toward legalization, the battleground itself may have changed dramatically by the time the fight is over.

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