Dear American Neighbors...

by Andri Efstathiou about a year ago in humanity

We legalized cannabis in October and all is well.

Dear American Neighbors...

Our American cousins,

Hello. Fellow North American and human being here, sending you greetings from your neighbor up North. That great nation that has given you some of our best comedians and musicians, artists and writers: Canada. As some of you know, we recently legalized marijuana. Legalized across the whole country, and even though similarly we have provincial laws like state legislature, legalizing cannabis nationally did not plummet our country into degeneration, disaster, or despair. Some red tape, and supply and demand issues aside, we are doing just fine.

Yes, that is correct, completely legalized cannabis at the federal level, from coast to coast. No, people are not smoking it in the streets, and no, we do not have an influx of stoned or high drivers on our roads. Likewise, people are NOT moving on to bigger and better narcotics now that this misnamed "gateway drug" is legal. Quite the opposite. Those that used before legalization for either recreational or medicinal purposes are maintaining their status quo, and non-users are relieved they can try it without getting arrested. Everything is as it was, and it's time we have a serious discussion, not as two separate nations, but as a North American collective. A North American collective that shares the longest international border in the world.

We get it, land mass versus population, we have different densities. I have on occasion met one of your citizens who has no idea where Toronto is, and seriously wondered if after crossing the border, did things suddenly turn to ice. And let's face it, politically, things haven't been at their best lately in either of our countries. Your President is focused on a southern wall and Alec Baldwin's impersonation of him, while our Prime Minister is picking out socks for his next public appearance. Rumors of Canadians being stopped at the border abound, whether they use cannabis or not. Something as simple as a Google search or investment into a cannabis company is creating fear in traveler's hearts. Fears of never being able to visit friends and family in the USA or our favorite cities.

Seriously. 10 of your states have already legalized cannabis in some shape or form. American cannabis companies are prospering. Companies with envious marketing strategies and a modern perspective, creating safe havens for people to research and shop in. US growers are looming over Canadian farmers as the possibility of legalization in your country gains support both politically and publicly. Really, why wouldn't your government legalize this across the country? It seems contradictory that alcohol and tobacco, linked to thousands of deaths yearly in both of our nations, do not create the uproar that cannabis does. The stoner image perpetrated in popular culture, film, and music is far from reality. You do realize Cheech and Chong was a spoof, ridiculing the unnecessary fear of cannabis, right? And if Martha is okay with Snoop smoking on set, really how bad could it be? Dare I mention the growing number of successful women raising awareness on the many benefits of cannabis, hemp, and the bi-products that are contributing to an improved way of life? Everything from supplementing cancer treatments to easing anxiety, these are products that once legalized create a viable economic resource for your country.

But don't take my word for it. Come visit and see for yourself. As we slowly roll out the various levels of legalization, maybe we are your guinea pigs or a case study for review? Whatever it is, it's time we dismantle the exclusionary war on drugs that created a dependency on a legal opioid epidemic, lining the pockets of companies who could care less about the crisis their products are feeding.


One of your Canadian neighbours

P.S. It's neighbours with an -ours not -ors.

Andri Efstathiou
Andri Efstathiou
Read next: What is Black Cannabis?
Andri Efstathiou

Mother, partner, writer, editor, educator, painter, and more. Bio's can't cover it all. Blogger at

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