Canada Just Legalized Marijuana. Indiana May Follow Suit

Photo Credit: Dave Granlund

There are major differences between Indiana and Canada.

For one, Canadians have access to decent healthcare. But if things keep moving in the direction they are now, we could start looking a lot more like our genteel neighbors to the north.

Don’t worry, proud Americans: that’s a good thing.

On Tuesday, Canada became only the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.

The first? Believe it or not it’s Uruguay, which is apparently one of the most progressive countries in the world. It also has the largest number of cattle per capita – stoned, liberal cattle.

Either way, Canada’s transformation into the United States’ chill uncle will be complete by the fall. Get your passports now.

And at least one Indiana lawmaker thinks that may have an impact here.

“I would hate like hell to think that we’re basing our freedoms and our laws off of Canada,” Rep. Jim Lucas, a longtime supporter of marijuana rights, told WIBC. “But you have a country that’s just north of us leading the way on an issue that so many Americans are overwhelming in favor of it.”

He’s right. Twenty-nine states have legalized medical weed, while nine have given the OK to recreational use as well. According to the PEW Research Center, 61 percent of Americans overall favor legalization.

Indiana’s a long way toward accepting recreational use. In some instances, hypnotism is still illegal. But our push toward medical marijuana is accelerating.

Earlier this month, the VFW of Indiana came out in favor of medical use, passing a resolution at their state convention asking legislators to finally stop teasing us committee studies and finally legalize medical marijuana, which will invaluably help veterans who suffer from pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The American Legion Department of Indiana has expressed support for medical marijuana as well.

I know some of you think all of this is ridiculous. After all, both Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and the federal government as a whole treat weed like a mix between heroin and the bubonic plague. And every time I write about this, I get emails expressing worries about teenagers getting addicted.

But weed is just like anything else. It needs scrutiny and regulation. If we go about it in a deliberate, intelligent manner, the benefits will far exceed whatever dark worries we can conjure.

Illinois has been pushing for recreational marijuana for a couple years now. Kentucky is optimistic that medical marijuana could pass in 2019. We’re getting left behind – and we’re putting the weights on our own feet.

Like Canada, Indiana likes to boast about its own “hospitality.” But on Wednesday, Canada did more than talk. Let’s follow its example.