The Canadian federal government legalized marijuana yesterday when the Cannabis Act was approved by the Senate in a 52-29 vote. The underlying basis for the legislation, which is set forth in an official press release when the law was first proposed makes perfect sense, and is something that every American anti-prohibition advocate can relate to: “The current approach to cannabis does not work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth.” While the Canadian legislation is significant for several obvious reasons, one can’t help but think that Canada’s removal of prohibition might be influential to the United States federal government in taking a similar approach, especially since the shortcomings of Canadian prohibition are equally observable in those of the United States’. Only time will tell if the United States will join its northern neighbor in finally recognizing that prohibition does not work.
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden is carefully monitoring developments in New Jersey and federally with respect to marijuana legislation and will be available to help its clients navigate the sure-to-be complex regulatory framework of this potential business frontier.