Drug Policy and Canada–US Relations: The Evidence and Its (Ir)relevance

  • Jean DaudelinEmail author
  • Philip Jones
Part of the Canada and International Affairs book series (CIAF)


The production, sale and consumption of cannabis are being fully legalized in Canada. In the United States, while much of the population lives in states where legalization is a fact, the cannabis trade remains criminalized at the federal level. The Trump administration has in fact made clear that it strongly disagrees with what liberalization has taken place, though it has been unwilling to challenge states’ policies. This chapter examines the impact of Canada’s decision on the relationship between the two countries. The analysis focuses on the public health and public safety effects that legalization in Canada is likely to have on the United States and shows them to be at worst mildly negative in character and largely irrelevant in scale. We nonetheless conclude that the current administration could well see a significant political advantage in adopting an aggressive stand against Canada, precisely because it is politically powerless to challenge the liberalization that is quickly gaining ground domestically.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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