Imagine sidling up to your neighbourhood Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist.
You cast a furtive glance over your shoulder before whispering, “Pssst! Hey, man… you got the stuff?”
And you walk away with a bag of pot tucked in your hoodie.
It could happen… well, except the hoodie maybe, depending on your fashion sense.
And it could be sooner than you think.
The winds of change are blowing over Canada’s fields of grass, and the folks at Shoppers and London Drugs and other aptly named stores want to blow along. Since marijuana has gained some political legitimacy as a medicine, they feel it has become high time for them to fill some prescriptions.
But the drug stores may not get as much business as they anticipated when they first thought about taking a bite out of the marijuana dispensaries’ brownies.
With yet another of Stephen Harper’s Regressive Conservative laws struck down in the courts last week, grass roots politics now really is about the grass of the common people.
And that is going to force Harper’s successor to get off the pot on pot.
Right now, the only ways to legally score a baggie of grass are to get a licence to grow it or buy it from someone who has a licence. And you have to have a legitimate medical need.
In six months, that changes.
That’s how long a judge in Vancouver (where else!) has given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to send a new set of marijuana laws down the pipe.
The judge ploughed through a bunch of objectionably zealous government clods who touted the dangers of cancer patients’ agricultural pursuits. He suggested they were blowing smoke, and ruled that anyone in need of a medical toke should be allowed to produce their own weed.
The judge was not advocating that the medically needy stop bogarting their joints. His ruling doesn’t change the rules against recreational use, it just gives better access to those with a licence to chill.
But the general direction of the winds of change has been towards a growing industry.
Indeed, one of those winds created a federal task force headed by former police chief MP Bill Blair. Blair’s task is to ponder Canada’s dopey pot laws, with consideration of decriminalizing grass, or perhaps even legalizing it.
Canada’s weedy enterprise has an estimated value of about $10 billion per year. Think of the tax revenue that could generate, regulated like tobacco or alcohol.
Regulation would also certainly reduce the current $2 billion bill for marijuana-related law enforcement.
The Canadian attitude towards marijuana used to be miles ahead of the USA’s counterproductive War on Drugs. Indeed, one of the stick-in-the-mud arguments against marijuana law reform used to be that our American neighbours would be upset with us.
Now state after state – with Washington one of the leaders – has been embracing the healing properties of hemp.
And if the lawmakers in Ottawa catch up with the prevailing attitude of the citizens they purport to serve, why not let a freshly legalized recreational cohort grow its own pot, the way anyone can legally make pots of wine and beer in their basements?
Legitimizing personal growth would be a good thing.
The folks running illegal grow ops in your neighbourhood might find it rather inconvenient – another good thing.