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Why the Decriminalization and Legalization of Cannabis Would Improve Canadian Society


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Why the Decriminalization and Legalization of Cannabis Would Improve Canadian Society
Criminology 101 - Section 02
Nikaya Mirhadi-Pathon
Capilano University

Cannabis, the plant from which marijuana is derived, is the most widely used, produced and trafficked drug worldwide (Ducatti Flister, 2012). The decriminalization of marijuana has been a widely debated topic on a global scale as many advocate for it’s therapeutic purposes. In the city of Seattle, there are reportedly more medicinal marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks outlets. With the recent rise of dispensaries, two Washington University students are preparing to capitalize on this phenomenon by releasing an app for iPhones called Canary, billed as “Uber for marijuana” where an illegal delivery service can bring high-grade cannabis to your home within the hour (Altman, 2014). Governments world wide have invested copious amounts of money in fighting drug production and consumption, even though, the war on drugs has increased cannabis seizures, we see in countries like Canada, that regulated distribution of marijuana, has made it more readily available for both recreational and medicinal users (Ducatti Flister, 2012). Although, police within the Canadian jurisdiction are capable of pursuing criminal charges for cannabis possession for those who are distributing and consuming illegally, there is still a lack of consensus on the legal status of cannabis in Canada. Though the drug is illegal in Canada, with exceptions for medicinal use and distribution, its recreational use is often tolerated more in Canada, due to it’s high percentage of users. According to data provided by the United Nations, in Canada, cannabis usage is estimated to be much higher than the world average of 2.8-4.5% (Ducatti Flister, 2012). Data has indicated 12.6% of the population in Canada, which is equivalent to roughly 4.4 million

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