Nov 302015
 November 30, 2015
canada marijuana

(image via Canada.com)

The phrase ‘regulate marijuana like alcohol’ has been very popular with campaigns this decade, and rightfully so. Marijuana is safer than alcohol, and so telling voters to support regulating marijuana like alcohol has resulted in a lot of traction in the minds of those voters. My home state, Oregon, is in the process of trying to regulate marijuana like alcohol, with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) tasked with figuring out all of the rules, processes, and procedures it will take to achieve that objective.

Marijuana legalization in Canada seems to be inevitable after this year’s election. The question is no longer if, but when, and for that matter, how? How should marijuana be regulated in Canada? Should it be similar to how alcohol is regulated? That’s what some officials in Canada are calling for. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

As Canada’s new government struggles with how to implement marijuana legalization, at least a few public figures are urging officials to allow sales through the country’s tightly controlled liquor stores.

In the central Canadian province of Manitoba, the Liquor & Gaming Authority expects to serve as a marijuana regulator and is now preparing for that role, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

In a Monday speech, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said the liquor authority “will be well positioned to regulate the sale and distribution of marijuana in a safe and socially responsible manner.”

I’m not from Canada, so I don’t know if alcohol regulators up there are fair to deal with. I know where I live, there were a lot of reservations about the OLCC being in charge of recreational marijuana regulation because the agency doesn’t exactly have the best image and track record. What do you think TWB readers, especially those in Canada? Would this be a good move for Canada? If not, what would be a better option, and why?

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  42 Responses to “Should Marijuana Be Regulated Like Alcohol In Canada?”

  1.  

    Regulate like alcohol for commercial sales with licensing required and such. Allow home grows as a hobby just like home brews are allowed. And allow transport of a reasonable amount… just like alcohol.

    Don’t restrict the market from the people, cannabis should be allowed to thrive as a cottage industry. To me, that is the most important thing for legalization; allow the people to be business owners and home growers. The people persisted in the face of prohibition for personal liberty and a legal framework should not slap them in the face and remove their liberty. This applies to Canada and the U.S.

    What Nevada and Arizona are doing with the home grow limits by location is SHAMEFUL.

  2.  

    Alcohol needs to be a schedule 1 drug not cannabis.

    Alcohol kills, has a very high chance of abuse, is VERY addictive and has NO MEDICAL use.

    No this is not a good idea, the liquor control of Canada is way too tight for cannabis.

    Cannabis has never killed, has very little chance of abuse, very little chance of addiction and has great medical use.

    They should NOT lump these 2 together, they are total opposites.

    I am all for legalize, tax and regulate but regulate in an appropriate way.

    Let’s not over regulate a harmless thing.

    Why over-regulate something that is produced naturally in our bodies to start with?

    That would be like over-regulating vitamin D, it is produced naturally in our bodies when the sun hits our skin.

    Cannabinoids are produced naturally in our bodies everyday.

    I guess EVERYONE in the world should be in JAILED right now….we ALL have cannabinoids in us!
    (sounds crazy but if the haters want all cannabinoids kept illegal then even the haters need to go to jail!)

  3.  

    I have a blog worthy response.

  4.  

    If you don’t regulate cannabis like tomatoes, hemp will be in trouble. “It looked like marijuana to me judge. So we cut it all down.”

  5.  

    Well in Ontario they are currently in the process of loosening the regulations on some beers and letting certain groceries sell them.
    I imagine the government will wind up letting the provinces decide how to and if they even want to legalize and tax cannabis.
    The prohibition was enacted federally but alcohol sales and regulations have traditionally been the exclusive territory of the individual provinces. So the federal prohibition will be repealed and individual provinces will have discretion with implementation.

  6.  

    I’m a student in Ontario right now and I think this is a really interesting question.

    It may very well have to be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada whether the power to regulate and tax cannabis will be Provincial(Liquor Boards/New Prov Agency), Federal(National Regulator) or more realistically a mix of both. Beverages are specifically allocated to be under provincial jurisdiction and there is a very strong argument for the inclusion of Cannabis in the logic of this part of our Constitution. However in practice Cannabis has been prosecuted under the Federal prohibition so the government may make an argument to having certain standards (similar to healthcare) for public safety reasons. In the end I think that the courts will have to compromise most likely with a federal regulator for certain national standards, Provincial Control Boards and split taxes between the two.

  7.  

    I think addictive and non-addictive are good catagories for the department. Tobacco and alcohol in the former and pot in the latter.

  8.  

    If the people aren’t sure of the OLCC’s motives, then they could use pre-packaged sales machines that use ID for age validation along w/facial recognition software. Trust me it is expensive but will no doubt more than make up for it w/sales

  9.  

    Marijuana is nothing like alcohol.. Specialty stores are in need.. no LCBO unless its a totally separate from alcohol sales.. alcohol brings out the devil in “Most” people

    •  

      Alcohol doesn’t bring out the devil in most people. It’s just that it brings evil out so bad in some people that it can seem like it.

  10.  

    We all know that there’s no comparing the devastation and harms that come with booze to how benign cannabis is. YET, “the poor children” are NEVER even mentioned when it comes to all the boozehounds being allowed to produce UMLIMITED amounts in the home. Possess UNLIMITED amounts anywhere they go, even having it completely accessable to children of ANY age in their home. AND being allowed to purchase UMLIMITED amounts in stores.
    So seeing as though cannabis has never killed a soul compared to the 2.5 million people that booze kills worldwide, and seeing as though cannabis has over 100 medical uses, is non addictive and has no possibility to overdose on. ALL which is totally opposite for alcohol, why are cannabis using adults not being given the EXACT same options to produce, possess AND purchase UNLIMITED amounts as well?
    There has been NO legalization ANYWHERE in North America yet. The best we have in Colorado, Oregon and Alaska is SEVERELY LIMITED “decriminalization” allowing a 4-6 measly plants to be grown and 3-4 ounces to possess.
    It’s a FACADE. It’s a FRAUD. It’s nothing but repackaged discrimination and all it shows is how gullible people are to believe it’s anything remotely close to being “legalized”.

    •  

      I live in a real prohib state, and what Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska have is more than 1/2 of what I need from the law, excuse me if that sounds a lot better than the 0% I’m getting now.

      •  

        All I need is the ability to home grow without it leading to jail time. I’d still shop stores to figure out what strains I want to grow but I would be into the growing as a hobby with benefits. Much like friends of mine are into brewing beer. I’m just into beer enough to want to brew it myself.

      •  

        The article was about Canada, not one of the insane U.S. States that is still living in the stone ages with total prohibition. Pay attention. What you “need” from the law isn’t the point. My point was DON’T call allowing people to grow 4-6 plants and possessing 3-4 Oz’s. “legalization”. When the “legalization” with alcohol allows UNLIMITED home production, possession AND retail purchasing. THAT is hypocrisy at its finest.

        •  

          “Pay attention”? Same to you.

          Of course it’s hypocrisy compared to what alcohol lovers get, you think I don’t know that?

          But it’s not a “FACADE” or a “FRAUD” and saying it in caps doesn’t make it so. It’s a half-measure, semi-legalization if you want to be precise. Big difference.It’s all the legalization most people need and they can and will call it legalization whether you say “DON”T or not.

          The fraud is what’s going on in prohib states and countries.

          If you can’t understand how good “4-6 plants and possessing 3-4 Oz’s” sounds to people living in stone age states, so be it.

  11.  

    For me, it’s two separate issues. Issue #1 should address the basic right to use and cultivate cannabis in your own home. Issue #2 deals with regulations which include sales, taxation and commercialization. I think Canada should carry through with issue #1 as soon as possible. This would allow liberty to sprout immediately and grant the regulators all the time they need to create regulations for rules, sales and taxation. Basically the same thing Washington DC has done.

    •  

      Agree legalization of use and of personal gardens should come quickly. I’m just hoping Trudeau and the Liberals understand the need to allow personal gardens. Freedom to grow and sell commercially are important too, but they’re just not as fundamental as the freedom to use and grow your own.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if they adopt the Oregon model and let MMJ dispensaries sell recreational weed while they finalize their rules on recreational use shops. The DC situation isn’t ideal, it’s a free for all for illegal dealers, courtesy of our Congress critters.

  12.  

    This “like alcohol” BS came from MPP and should be abolished since cannabis is NOTHING “like alcohol”, PERIOD.

  13.  

    What did “like alcohol” turn into in CO? Let’s see:

    Alcohol regulation in Colorado: 14,400 plus liquor licenses are issued/regulated yearly by 12 full time employee’s on a 1.2 million dollar budget. To prevent monopolies when prohibition ended, everyone is limited to 1 liquor license—for the most part, you either manufacture or you retail.

    There are dozens of different kinds of liquor licenses that cost from $3.50 cents (art show tasting) to $1,250 to manufacture (like COORS) and licenses allow for consumption on premise and in view of the general public. People can consume alcohol in a state licensed business, including outside patio’s.

    Felons can apply and own liquor licenses.

    If you give alcohol to a minor it’s always a misdemeanor and a $250 fine, that doubles every time you do it.

    And alcohol, even a onetime use, can KILL and costs society more than any other substance (death, accidents, violence, health care etc.)

    Cannabis regulation in Colorado: 750 cannabis licenses are issued/regulated yearly by 60 full time pot cops and the Governor said we needed 50-80 million budget.

    There are 3 licenses to pick from and they start at $1,250 but to abide by all the 1,000 plus pages of NEW rules (prohibitions) you need at least $500,000 and probably own your own building as any available zoning was ‘filled’ back in 2010 when the MMJ ‘industry’ bought their monopoly from the general assembly (all the people who moved here after they helped collapse real-estate and wall-street nationwide) to show CO how to “professionally” sell pot. Consumption on a licensed premise (even by employees) is illegal.

    Pot felons are banned from participating–but murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and other drug felons are welcome…(the new industry
    people who bought the language have friends they couldn’t exclude)…….and competition to exclude, some of the best growers. People can by as many business licenses as they can afford, which has already created the monopoly….

    If you give cannabis to a minor (under 21, so college students included) it is now a class 1 felony with a 8 year mandatory minimum and a fine up to 1 million.

    And cannabis has no known lethal dose in over 8,000 recorded years of human use. Cannabis heals more ailments than any other substance on the earth and is the safest. If it were truly legal it would save society money, not cost it, like alcohol….

    I am so sick of hearing “regulate like alcohol”. Cannabis has NOTHING IN COMMON WITH ALCOHOL. Regulation is clearly not even close in CO. The only thing the same as alcohol is the age 21, which protects few college students, the people most likely to be ‘busted’ for the safest therapeutic substance known to man and the people who can have their entire lives ruined over possession.

  14.  

    Placing cannabis under the auspices of the LCBO brings some immediate problems to mind:

    1. The LCBO treats products as internally competitive. Not only does this favour large producers, it translates into entire categories being frequently placed at a disadvantage (ex: domestic vs foreign wines). The LCBO is also quite expensive, especially when products are classified as premium or upmarket. How can we expect the LCBO to undermine black market pricing when they have a demonstrable conflict of interest?

    2. The LCBO would use as much existing infrastructure as possible for cannabis sales. This would be the fastest way for our government to stifle the long-term economic potential of recreational cannabis sales. When the LCBO Union spokesperson spoke to the media recently, he stated that LCBO cannabis sales would improve job security but he doubted that it would add new jobs.

    3. LCBO employees are often hard pressed to answer questions about their existing products. It does not inspire confidence in the level of service the LCBO would be able to provide during the initial rollout.

    In all honesty, cannabis sales through the LCBO only makes sense as a short-term implementation option if they are non-exclusive (only in markets without existing dispensaries) and limited by a sunset clause, say of 12 to 18 months at the most, after which they are taken out of the loop entirely in favour of privatized sales (preferred option) or a completely new government regulatory body that is kept as far away from the LCBO and The Beer Store as humanly possible.

  15.  

    Only idiots, morons and fools would beg the Government to regulate a “harmless plant that never killed anyone” LIKE DEADLY Alcohol that harms, maims and kills 10s of THOUSANDS … every year.

    Stupid is as Stupid does.

    •  

      This is in response to a comment you made to me on a now-closed thread. You asserted that since I can’t prove the existence of God, and since I believe in a higher power, the onus is on me because I’m asserting the existence in the positive. or something like that.

      And I would tell you the onus is neutralized because you are affirming the non-existence of a higher power. So once again, neither you nor I can prove nor disprove the existence of God!

  16.  

    DEATH TO ALCOHOL!!! UNREGULATED GREENAGE= HAPPYNESS FOR EVERYONE :-)

  17.  

    The reason why liquor is so tightly controlled is to prevent it from being used as bio-fuel and competing with fossil fuels.
    All the farm products need to be legalized. Get the government and the police out of the farmers market.

  18.  

    Cannabis should be as legal as lettuce, but if they choose to treat it like alcohol and tobacco, that’s good enough for me.

  19.  

    Let’s just get this done everywhere to prevent stuff like this.

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/post_81.html

  20.  

    Here in Ontario we can make an unlimited amount of beer and wine in our homes…… so I’d have no issue with growing as much cannabis as we can. We also have micro brewers so micro grow businesses set up by breeders etc growing their specialty strains would be interesting to.

  21.  

    Do you require the answer in the form of another question, or something? Tell Canada what they’ve won, Johnny! =P

  22.  

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