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Cannabis legalization; Are we in the middle of a global paradigm shift?

This past Friday on the unofficial Cannabis holiday "4:20", tens of thousands of people across my country of Canada flocked to major city centers (including in front of the Canadian parliament buildings in Ottawa) and openly "smoked up" in protest and celebration. Similar gatherings occurred in major cities globally.

For those unfamiliar with the story of Cannabis here's a (very) quick Coles notes version: The Cannabis plant was once a very popular and widely used crop with uses ranging from textiles (hemp paper, clothing) to medicine to the recreational use of "Marijuana" which entails smoking the dried buds of the Cannabis plant. This was the case up until the 1930's where Cannabis began to be systematically made illegal on a global scale until this very day.

It seems to me that there is tangible momentum developing behind ending the prohibition of Cannabis on a global level. It seems that people are becoming more aware of the draconian stance the law by in large has on this plant and are pushing towards change.

Do you sense that such a shift is occurring? Feel free to share the feeling wherever you are posting from in the world.


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    Apr 22 2012: Is such a trend really necessary? I mean it would be bad for "the" economy.

    Posted from The Netherlands.
    • Apr 22 2012: In what way do you think it would be bad for the economy?

      It seems to me that re-legalizing cannabis is a sound economic decision. It would eliminate the wasteful costs of criminalization while effectively legitimize a multi-billion dollar industry and open it to the economy rather than the black market. Yes it would be fair to assume that public health costs would be involved but there is no evidence to suggest that it would be anywhere close to tobacco or alcohol.
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        Apr 22 2012: Haha, sorry. I was talking about "our" economy. We benefit from the drug tourism.
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          Apr 26 2012: Not for long I'm afraid. Starting next year coffeeshops are 'private clubs'. You'll need a membership card to get in, a coffeeshop can't hold more then 2000 memberships and foreigners aren't allowed to be a member and so aren't allowed to enter the coffeeshop.

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