Over the last 20 years, public opinion has shifted in favour of decriminalizing marijuana. In fact, a 2015 Forum Research poll found that a whopping 68% of Canadians are in favour of relaxing regulations.
In the 2015 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada recognized that the current prohibition approach to marijuana is not working and committed to legalizing, regulating and restricting access by April 2017. In June 2016, the long-awaited task force, led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, was announced, with a mandate to design a new framework for legalization and regulation. The report will be delivered in November 2016 and legislation is slated to be introduced in the spring of 2017.
When it comes to marijuana, the subject raises all kinds of ethical and moral questions about its merits, benefits and societal impacts. It is clearly a moral and ethical debate, as much as it is about health and wellbeing and economic impacts. This article looks at the subject through the lens of the potential impacts on human wellbeing and community quality of life. Read more in this Speech delivered by Mark Anielski to the Vancouver Board of Variance on October 5, 2016
Mark Anielski an economic strategist specializing in measuring well-being and happiness of nations, communities and businesses. He is the author of the best-selling, award-winning book The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth, the co-founder of the economic policy think-tank, Genuine Wealth Inc., and for ten years, was the founding professor of corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship for MBA students at the University of Alberta’s School of Business. He has also advised governments around the world, as well as Canadian municipalities, on quality of life indicators and well-being-based measurement and management systems.
The Green Room strongly urges the Federal Government to adopt a regulated dispensary model for safe, responsible and effective distribution of medical marijuana. Green Room’s submission to the task force includes cannabis as a safe alternative to opioids, several recommendations that protect Canadians and support better health outcomes for those with chronic conditions. Read more: Towards a regulated dispensary model
The economic, societal and health benefits for Canadians of a legalized, regulated and taxable dispensary system for medical marijuana are huge. Based on the model currently used in 17 US states, legalized marijuana in Canada could see a dramatic reduction in fatal opioid overdoses, reduction in crime and enforcement costs and tax benefits in the billions of dollars. Read more: Dispensing of Medical Marijuana
In an ICES Report from July 2016, Tara Gomes and David N. Juurlink review issues related to opioid misuse, abuse and premature overdose death. Read more: ICES Report – Opioid Use and Overdose: What We’ve Learned in Ontario
This discussion paper was released by Ottawa to outline the objectives for a new system, and specific issues and options on which the government, through the task force, is seeking advice and input from Canadians. Read more: Toward the Legalization, Regulation and Restriction of Access to Marijuana (Government of Canada)