That other states interested in relaxing their marijuana laws – whether for medical or recreational purposes – have been following developments in Colorado and Washington State is understood. The attention has been both positive and negative, such as (unsuccessful) lawsuits against Colorado filed by adjacent states.
But now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada’s Liberal Party has named a national commission to study legalization of marijuana, a leading media voice, The Globe and Mail of Toronto, has suggested that an entire country should tune in to Colorado’s track record.
“Not being first has its advantages when it comes to social policy reforms. For instance, it opens the possibility of piggy-backing on costly research conducted elsewhere,” said the newspaper in a recent Sunday editorial.
“Three cheers, then, for the State of Colorado, which has compiled a deep trove of useful data when it comes to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. The Liberal government’s new Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation, announced Thursday, should take a look at what’s there.”
The newspaper found Colorado research showing that marijuana use among adolescents had not increased significantly to be positive, for example.
“Surveys are limited tools, but the basic conclusion – legalization in and of itself has not led to a boom in teenaged pot consumption – will help settle one small aspect of a broader argument. Ottawa plans to introduce legislation in the spring of next year but is only just beginning to look at the issue in depth. Thankfully, someone else has been doing it for them.”
So Coloradans, heads up. Canada is watching.