In the eight American states (and D.C.) that allow cannabis possession and consumption for adult use, all of them have a legal age limit of 21 years old. All of the campaigns that brought about legalization campaigned on the slogan of ‘regulate marijuana like alcohol.’ Alcohol has a legal age limit of 21 years old, so it was logical to set the legal age of cannabis at 21 as well. But should that be the legal age for marijuana?
One argument that I hear a lot, and there’s a lot of validity to it, is that if people are able to vote to legalize marijuana when they are 18, so too should they be able to purchase legal marijuana. People can buy lottery tickets at the age of 18, obviously vote when they are 18, and for the most part purchase tobacco products when they are 18 (although some states are pushing to raise the legal tobacco age limit). Canada’s legalization proposal involves an age limit of 18 years old, although some provinces are opting for an age limit of 19. British Columbia is one of those provinces, per The Globe and Mail:
British Columbia will introduce a system of public and private retailers to sell recreational cannabis and set a minimum age of 19 to buy and use the drug when it is legal next year.
Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth released the NDP government’s preliminary vision for legal cannabis on Tuesday after a consultation process that received nearly 50,000 submissions and sought input from First Nations and local governments.
Uruguay, which has already legalized marijuana, has a legal age limit of 18. I don’t expect American states to lower the age limit from 21 to 18 or 19, but such a move would not be crazy if it were to ever occur. I am comfortable with having a legal age limit of 21, but that’s due in large part to the fact that I am well over that age limit. If you were to ask me when I was 18 or 19 what I thought the legal age limit should be, I likely would have said that the legal age limit should be lower! What do Weed News readers think? Should the legal age limit be 18, 19, or 21? And why?