On Monday night Canadians elected Justin Trudeau, the Liberal party leader who has promised to legalize pot nationwide, as their next prime minister. Although Trudeau has yet to make any solid proposals as to how he will accomplish legalization or give a specific timeline for when he will do it, many Canadians are looking forward to a tsunami of government-certified kush flooding our cities. Until then, however, Canada's recreational stoners and college kids looking to score a few dry nugs for their frat party will turn to the same source they have for generations: drug dealers.
Curious what the Great North's weed dealers thought of JT's victory and the possibility of him legalizing the ganj, I reached out to dealers across Canada to chat about Canada's new leader.
Related: Watch Canadian Cannabis: The Dark Grey Market
Keith - Vancouver
VICE: How do you feel about Trudeau winning?
Fucking love it. The guy's a beauty.
What about him legalizing pot?
As a smoker, I love it, but it's going to kind of kill my business. No one's going to buy illegally when they can get it legally. Like, there's other problems too but it's more to do with the weed itself, y'know?
I don't, actually. What do you mean?
Like, I sell dabs—a lot of dabs—and that kind of stuff is super potent. I've heard that regulations in the States can really fuck with the [public idea of] potency and there's been a lot of controversy around selling dabs, hash oil, and stuff. I'm just afraid about weed getting a bad rap.
Wouldn't it reflect better on weed when it's legal, though?
I don't think so. Old people and shit don't really know the ins and outs, they just think bad kids smoke pot. When it's legal, like, people will be smoking trees like they drink wine. There's going to be a weird culture around it and a lot of misinterpretation, I think.
Don't take this the wrong way, but do you think you're kind of hoping weed stays underground so it can be sorta special to you?
[Laughs] I get that. I guess. It's cool to know more than [most] people about it all. Y'know, it's like a hazing ritual for a lot of kids—to smoke their first joint or take a first hit of a bong and cough their lungs out. I feel like that's gonna be lost.
So what you're telling me is that you're in this for the children?
Yeah, for sure. Them and my wallet.
Robin - Niagara Falls, Ontario
Did you watch the election?
Nah, man. I was too busy working but I heard Trudeau won big.
He did. He's now going to be our prime minister and he said he's going to legalize weed. How does that make you feel?
Fantastic. We're really late on this and I'm happy it's finally happening.
What about your dealing? So far dealers I've spoke to said it would hurt their customer base.
When it's sold in stores and shit, it will, but that's not going to happen for a while, right? Like, legalization doesn't mean regulation.
You're right, legalization of pot will probably come before it is actually sold and marketed, but it might come at the same time.
That would kind of suck, but I think it's OK either way. I just want weed to be legal, man. Even if I lose profit, there are people suffering out there or getting hurt or killed because of the cycle of drugs. I sell it but it's just an income avenue. I'll find something else.
One of the guys I talked to said the culture might get fucked up if a bunch of mainstream, non-smokers start lighting up. What are your thoughts on that?
Nonsense, man. I don't like that kind of negative attitude when it comes to smoking culture. Everybody should be welcome to give it a try.
You're a pretty heavy smoker from what I remember, and I'm the kind of guy who looks at a blunt and greens out. How do you think they should handle regulating the potency and strength of weed?
I personally don't think they should sell anything too strong. Like, the real strong shit should be left to enthusiasts. Smoking is fun as fuck but we've all seen the stories about dumb people who think they're dead because they got too high or get into an accident because they went from 0 to 100 with their smoking habits. You gotta be realistic about it.
Sam - Toronto
So I know you're a big supporter of Thomas Mulcair—you post about it on social media a lot—but what do you think of Justin Trudeau's victory last Monday?
His speech after defeating Harper was pretty legendary and I think that's a super cool moment for Canada. We're kind of living what the Americans did with Obama when he won so I'm pretty stoked to see what's going to come.
But you voted for Mulcair, right?
Yeah, I just agree with his policies more. I don't think we're going to see a big change with the Liberals outside of pot and maybe Indigenous recognition.
Mulcair said he was for immediate decriminalization of pot with a move toward legalization, while Trudeau said he was for straight-up legalization. Who do you agree with more?
Well, again, Mulcair. Regulation is actually going to make things a lot worse for me. [Laughs.]
Do you think you're going to lose money if the government starts taking a bite out of the market?
Totally. Look what happened in Colorado and such. The government can make this shit way faster than regular growers can and they can make the most potent shit you will ever smoke. Nobody wants to risk buying something subpar from an unreliable source when you can just pick up the best stuff at a convenience store.
What are your customers saying about it?
They're pretty happy. I think anybody who smokes and doesn't rely on the money [from selling pot] is. I smoked with a bunch of my boys when Trudeau won. It's something to celebrate, even if it's just for the culture and not necessarily for me.
Any job ideas if you quit dealing?
I go to school so I'm hoping my degree will take me somewhere as profitable after this. Hard to beat $900 a week from dropping off baggies in a van. I really liked retail so I could do that again, but it probably won't be the same.
Follow Jake Kivanc on Twitter.