Wayne Matheson started growing his beard as a call for marijuana legalization in 2013. On Wednesday, he shaved it off.
But, Matheson says Oct. 17, 2018, is only a stepping stone.
“I don’t really consider it legalization to be honest with you,” said Matheson, owner of CannaDaze head shop in Campbellford, Ont. “They say we’re not trying to make the same mistakes we did with alcohol, but yet they’re following the exact same prohibitive legalization state they did back then.”
Matheson, who is also an advocate for legal marijuana, calls the numbers in the law arbitrary.
“Your carry limit of only 30 grams — can you only carry one case of beer out of the store? No. Can you only buy one bottle of booze? No,” said Matheson. “You’re allowed 15 kilograms of tobacco per adult in the law, but you’re only allowed four plants per household, not per adult.”
Down the highway, it’s business as usual at the Medicine Wheel, a dispensary in Alderville First Nation.
Owner Rob Stevenson called it “a historic day.”
“Cannabis is an exit drug,” said Stevenson. “People can use it to get off of strong opiates and other addictions. With most treatments, methadone, suboxone, those people are on that for a long time.”
Right now, Ontarians can only purchase recreational cannabis legally through the province’s new Ontario Cannabis Store website.
“I see this as a stepping stone along the way,” added Matheson. “Now it’s up to the people to fight for more freedoms to relax the laws some more.”