N.L. res­i­dents don’t ex­pect big change

‘Peo­ple have been do­ing it for eons now’

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY DAVID MA­HER

Cannabis be­came le­gal in Canada last week, and there’s plenty of guess­ing and con­jec­ture about how many Cana­di­ans will avail of the weed when they can legally pur­chase it.

Now that cannabis le­gal­iza­tion day has dawned and New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans can use recre­ational cannabis, lo­cals don’t ex­pect much to change in the long term.

Peo­ple who spoke with The Tele­gram the day be­fore le­gal­iza­tion more or less agree they don’t ex­pect ma­jor so­ci­etal changes now that cannabis is le­gal.

“Any­body who’s go­ing to smoke it to­mor­row is go­ing to smoke it to­day,” said one woman.

“It’ll be slightly more ac­cept­able to so­ci­ety.”

For oth­ers, they’ve al­ready made up their mind on the sub­stance.

“I tried it, didn’t like it. So, no. The other side of that is, in my opin­ion, I think if peo­ple are go­ing to do it, they’re go­ing to do it whether it’s le­gal or not,” said one woman.

“Peo­ple have been do­ing it for eons now, so I don’t think le­gal­iza­tion is go­ing to in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple dra­mat­i­cally. Some may, be­cause now they won’t feel as guilty. For the most part, I don’t think it’s go­ing to make that much of a dif­fer­ence in the use.”

One woman, who is al­ready a reg­u­lar user, is ex­cited to see the plant more ac­ces­si­ble.

“I’m a daily smoker. I’ll just con­tinue to smoke and have more spots to shop at. Bet­ter va­ri­ety, and cleaner stuff to smoke,” she said.

Sit­ting with her, a friend says he’s had the date saved for a while now.

“Def­i­nitely, I’m go­ing to try this. I’ve been think­ing about it for weeks now,” he said.

For those work­ing in heavy in­dus­try, the de­ci­sion about whether or not to give cannabis a try has al­ready been made for them.

“I work in the off­shore. We still do drug tests. If you want to smoke up, I have no is­sue, as long as it’s done safely,” said one man.

“It will have no ef­fect on my de­ci­sion to smoke cannabis at all.”

The ques­tion of whether or not there will be a large in­crease in recre­ational cannabis smok­ers re­mains, and will cloud the air for months to come. One man said he doesn’t think there will be any ma­jor, long-term changes.

“I think, over­all, there’s go­ing to be a spike, ini­tially. There’s a lot of peo­ple I know that said they’re will­ing to try it now be­cause it is go­ing to be le­gal,” said an­other man.

“I think that’ll be tran­sient. I don’t think it’ll last for a long time. Peo­ple will find out whether or not they ac­tu­ally like the ef­fects of it. That’s go­ing to de­ter­mine if they con­tinue to use it.”

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