The federal government’s recent effort to leagalize and regulate marijuana has left some Canadians feeling dazed and confused.

In an historic moment, the Liberals tabled legislation last week to end the prohibition of pot and regulate it for recreational use. It was a campaign promise Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made when still gunning for the country’s top job back in 2015, and one the government hopes will reach fruition by July 1 of next year.

According to the proposed legislation, Canadians 18 years and older will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried or fresh cannabis, while consumers can also grow up to four plants at home or buy from a licensed retailer. However, not every component of the plan has been announced – including additional provincial regulations, how the pot it will be taxed, how much it will cost and where users will be permitted to light up – but, still, it’s a piece of legislation that’s been long overdue.

While not everyone is going to completely agree on the topic of drug use – legal or otherwise – there’s no denying how prevalent marijuana has become in today’s society. Medical and therapeutic reasons aside, it’s long been one of the most easily accessible recreational drugs, the enforcement of which has likely cost a hefty dollar over the years without much to show for it. Marijuana is everywhere and, most who use it, will also swear up and down to its harmlessness when compared to other, already legal substances including both alcohol and nicotine.

It only makes sense for the government to embrace an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality. It will take time, however, for some critics to recognize, accept and adjust to what will no doubt be a major cultural and social change for this country. Buffalo Narrows mayor Bobby Woods is a prime example.

Recently, Woods expressed his dissatisfaction with the government’s marijuana legislation. A long-time advocate for a drug-free society, Woods is concerned about the legalization of marijuana negatively impacting his community. He’s afraid, by making the drug legal, it will be much easier for the public – children included – to get their hands on it and for people to be lured toward using even more, potentially dangerous substances.

His convictions are indeed honourable, but the fact is anyone who truly wants to get hold of marijuana already has a way of doing so. The government’s simply making it so they’re not breaking the law when they do. Time will tell if the Liberals’ effort pays off, but one thing’s for certain – it’s a changing world. And as much as some people may not want to, they’re going to have to change with it.

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