Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from contributing editor Dr. Stefano Tijerina, a lecturer in management and the Chris Kobrack Research Fellow in Canandian Business History at the University’s of Maine’s Business School.
The Canadian The Lethbridge Herald published the article “Marijuana Smoking will Become Acceptable” on December 3, 1970, as a means to lay down the foundations for the future legalization of marijuana. Forty-nine years later, the federal legalization of marijuana, for both medical and recreational purposes, is a reality in countries such as Canada and Uruguay.
The policy in the South American country was designed to deal with criminal organizations, but the policy in Canada was designed to build a lucrative global capitalist market. Canada’s highly regulated and government-driven sale of cannabis showed that federal and provincial governments envisioned legalization as a lucrative means of taxation, building protectionist measures around the commodity in order to secure the inflow of corporate and personal taxes. In comparison, the 1970s’ vision of legalization did not include a fiscal agenda, and much less a protectionist agenda.