Euphoria in Canada for the legalization of marijuana

A “national experiment” stage begins for Canada

This October 17 was a historic date for Canada and in general for the world, as this country became the second in the world to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, after the government of Uruguay did the same in August of 2013.

Already in his campaign, the then candidate Justin Trudeau (now prime minister) had proposed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, which anyway occurs (particularly among the young population) but, in a context of prohibition, is at the root of illegal traffic and other associated consequences (extortion, homicide, criminal association, etc.).

Now, with this promise fulfilled, a “national experiment” stage begins for Canada, as The New York Times points out, since this legalization will allow to know if, in effect, it is a measure capable of facing the negative effects of prohibition.

In addition to recreational consumption, the new legislation allows a person to carry and transport up to 30g of marijuana and grow up to four plants on one property, the latter in most provinces of the country. The law also considers the marketing of products such as cigarettes, fresh or dried marijuana flowers and oils extracted from the plant, but not others such as peanut butter or coffee mixed with marijuana (whose purchase and sale will be legal next year).

On the other hand, it should be mentioned that the medical use of marijuana was legalized in Canada since 2001 and several surveys conducted in recent years showed a widespread and systematic acceptance of legalization for recreational purposes. According to official statistics, about 5 million Canadians smoked marijuana in the past year for recreational purposes. In this sense, the initiative launched by the Trudeau administration is not entirely surprising for Canadian society.

Christopher Katsarov / AP

Proof of this is the euphoria with which he received the first day of legalization: people smoking in the streets, lining up to buy marijuana in stores expressly dedicated to this merchandise and, in general, celebrating in the streets.

Chris Young / The Canadian Press via AP

It is certainly worth following the initiative closely, especially as regards its effects on organized crime and the crime associated with the ban, but it is also worth recalling certain lines of the Discourse on voluntary servitude of Étiennne de La Boétie, who saw in the "embrutecimeinto" of a society a resource that power uses to maintain subjection:

To this Machiavellian recourse to bewitched his subjects, Cyrus also appealed against the Lydians, when his capital seized Sardes, he surrendered Creso, his rich king, and took him captive. They told him one day that the Sardenses had revolted. Soon they were subject, under his hand. But not wanting to resort to the looting of such a beautiful city, or the maintenance of a large garrison; by less violent and safer means he enslaved them. He established brothels, opened taverns, ordered public games and allocated prizes to all who invented new delights. These measures filled the sights of the tyrant in such a way, that he no longer needed to unsheathe the sword against the lidios [...].

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