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ReLeaf celebrates freedom from fear 

Long Story Short

The Canadian government may spell the word "marihuana" — it would — but everything else about the country's plans to reportedly sanction an estimated $1.3 billion cannabis market through the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations sounds good. As put by Toronto's The Globe and Mail, the system will provide "an expected 450,000 Canadians with quality weed" replacing "an older system ... that mostly relied on small-scale, homegrown medical marijuana of varying quality, often diverted illegally to the black market."

See? As Jeff Goldblum would undoubtedly agree: Pot, uh, finds a way. Just plug the word "marijuana" into Google News for a taste of what's happening. "Illinois begins march toward medical marijuana"; "Jamaica Lawmakers Debate Marijuana Legalization"; "Louisiana man receives 20 years for half an ounce of marijuana."

That last one isn't exactly what I meant, but it is the other side of today's coin. AlterNet reports that 27-year-old Corey Ladd had prior convictions that elevated his sentence for possessing 15 grams "to 20 years hard labor at the Department of Corrections." Chain-gang in mind, I bet the average Coloradan could probably pull enough shake out of the carpet to go to jail in Louisiana for a long, long time.

And it's that semi-freedom from fear that Coloradans get to celebrate, and that we get to write about in ReLeaf, the newest issue of which is tucked into this week's Independent.

The rest of the continent will get there, someday. Just check the headlines.

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