On October 17, 2018, recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada.
After the Senate of Canada passed legislation, Canada will become the second country in the world to make recreational marijuana legal.
The first country to legalize marijuana nationwide was Uruguay, which did so in 2013.
Marijuana production, sale and consumption is still illegal in the Philippines.
Recreational marijuana sales were supposed to start on July, but provincial and territorial governments had advised the federal government that an additional 8 to 12 weeks to transition to the new rules.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said in a tweet that “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate.”
CANADIAN KIDS AND RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
Starting October 17, Canadian adults will be allowed to carry up to a maximum of 30 grams of marijuana in public.
Canadian adults can also grown up to four plants at home.
It’s not a free-for-all, with strict rules in place including provincial, territorial and federal regulation over marijuana retailers. Recreational marijuana will not be available for sale at the same locations selling alcohol and tobacco.
Impaired driving laws have also been changed to include drivers operating motor vehicles while under the influence of recreational marijuana.
Federal legislation has set a minimum of 18 years old for consumers, with provincial and territorial governments able to raise the minimum age.
Ontario will have 40 provincially-run locations that will be selling recreational marijuana.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA (AND OTHER DRUGS)
Starting October 17, 2018, your kids over 18 will be able to buy recreational marijuana in Canada legally.
That means they won’t have to ask your permission, and if you haven’t had the talk yet, now might be a good time to do so.
While underaged drinking and tobacco use is fairly common in the Philippines, it is strictly prohibited in Canada. It hasn’t stopped Canadian youth from doing so, however recreational marijuana poses an entirely different set of challenges.
Sit down and talk to your kids as soon as you can.
Kids today are exposed to images on the internet portraying tobacco, alcohol and drug use as cool and fun.
Parents need to sit down and communicate with their kids about the very real danger of drug addiction.
Experts say it’s best to start as early as possible, in order to lay the foundation of trust and openness. Better to have open channels of communication with your kids, rather than them get their information from dubious second-hand sources.
HOW YOU SHOULD TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
1) Set your ground rules at home – while they’re still living with you at home, make it very clear that you have rules that they will follow, as well as consequences for breaking those rules.
2) Teach your kids to say no to drugs – studies have found that kids who don’t know how to properly respond to peers offering them alcohol, tobacco and drugs tend to give in. Give them ready responses for them to use, and practice this using role-playing situations at home.
3) Closely monitor your kids online and real-life social interactions – this one is kind of tricky, as each kids is different from the other. Strike a balance between concerned and overly protective by always communicating with your kids, putting the necessary safeguards as appropriate. Always ask them who they’ve spent time with, where they’re from, and other similar questions to express your concern.
4) Build up your kids’ self-esteem – kids, especially teenagers, need to be constantly reassured to help them cope with feelings of insecurity. Give them plenty of positive reinforcement, and involve yourself with their day-to-day activities, offering praise for each little triumph and success, and positive criticism for less than successful endeavours.
5) Talk to them about what they see on TV (or in their case, YouTube) – helping your kids separate fact from fiction will go a long way towards empowering them to make the right decision when the time comes.
6) Encourage fun family activities that involve your kids and help them gain a feeling of belonging. Keeping them busy and active will not only bring you and your kids together, it will help them keep out of trouble as well.