UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Five places to start your new career as a marijuana farmer

By Pieta Woolley


During Canada’s recent federal election, then-candidate Justin Trudeau promised to “legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.” And, it seems, the only question now is where we’ll be able to acquire it. Liquor stores? Regulated cannabis dispensaries? Dens of iniquity? Church?

In December’s Observer, I took a look at the church’s historic responsibility for criminalizing the drug, and marijuana’s potential relationship to spiritual practice in the post-prohibition era. Christians, in particular, may be interested in legalization for the simple call to “free the captives.” Over two million Canadians have been arrested on pot-related charges.

But Canada isn’t alone in warming up to Mary Jane. While our leaders hash out the small print, farmers in other countries are busy sowing seeds and harvesting their own bounty.

Here are five countries that are out ahead on growing marijuana for personal use.

1. Uruguay

When: August 2014

What: The country allows up to six plants at home for personal use.

Insightful online comment: “Wait, how is six plants per household "fully legal?" I bet they can grow a whole backyard full of tomatoes, but yet, let's limit how many pot plants you can have. I mean yes, congratulations Uruguay that's awesome. But telling someone how many plants they can legally have is still controlling.” (Troy Harper, Vice Magazine)

2. Jamaica

When: February 2015

What: The country allows up to five “ganja” plants for personal use.

Insightful online comment: “Tourist to get licence to purchase small quantity. Oh please, tourists have been smoking pot in their hotel. And the hotel has been turning a blind eye to it. Check the all inclusives. Why do you think they keep going back? Cos it's the best and it's natural.” (Unidentified, The Guardian)

3. Bangledesh

When: Always

What: No laws govern the growing or imbibing of marijuana.

Insightful online comment: “Absolutely not true that cannabis consumption is traditional in Bangladesh. It's highly taboo. If you're a foreigner, though, the police won't even dare to come close to you. By far, the easiest way to get a hold of ganja is to just ask a rickshaw driver for it; 90 percent of them will be eager to make a run to get some for you, and I'd say about 30 percent have some on them at the moment. Assuming you're a foreigner, you'll pay 10 times more than what's reasonable. You can haggle them down, but compared to western prices, it's already very cheap. S****y weed, though.” (unidentified, webehigh.org)

4. Mexico

When: November, 2015

What: The Supreme Court ruled that preventing people from growing for personal use is unconstitutional. First licenses were granted soon after.

Insightful online comment: “You don't even need to believe that smoking cannabis is a right. Simply accept that criminal laws should not exist to regulate personal decisions; they exist to protect people from each other. Even if I were to agree that smoking cannabis is a terrible life choice (I don't), people are free to make terrible life choices, like binge eating or getting a face tattoo. It's the classic conflation of sin with crime.” (Daniel O’Brien, The Atlantic)

5. USA (regulated by state)

When: Oregon (2015); Alaska (2014); Colorado (2012); Washington (2012)

What: Laws vary by state, but each allows some plants for personal use.

Insightful online comment: (From Oregon) “The local pot place in Coos Bay, Stonies, is selling at $15 per gram, which is $420 per ounce — almost three times the cost of really good black market weed. At that price, our new greenhouse has already paid for itself. (I) went to the garden section of Fred Meyer, asked the lady who worked there what they had for pot plants, and got into a discussion about growing techniques with her and several customers — all 60-ish. Everyone pulled out their smart phones and showed off pictures of their plants. Love this place.” (Andrew B Suhrer, Huffington Post)


Author's photo
Pieta Woolley is a writer in Powell River, B.C.
Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

Global famine in the Trump era

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image

Justice

May 2017

Stolen mothers

by Kristy Woudstra

Almost 90 percent of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women were parents. With the national inquiry hearings set to begin, we talk to five daughters who were left behind.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

Society

March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Justice

May 2017

Stolen mothers

by Kristy Woudstra

Almost 90 percent of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women were parents. With the national inquiry hearings set to begin, we talk to five daughters who were left behind.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

Society

March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image