The legalization of Cannabis in Canada during 2018 will send shock waves around the world. Even in the 2000s, most people, especially those in Asia and Africa, consider recreational drug use as an immoral and criminal practice. Some countries will likely follow Canada's lead but many others will move in the other direction.
The next 30 years will be consumed by many legal battles. Canada, USA and most other nations still have a treaty prohibitting the production and distribution of cannabis. Canada may pull out of this treaty or be allowed to renegotiate it. In October 2017, US regulators announced that the cannabis companies may be delisted from the stock exchange. After this announcemnt, the cannabis stocks ropped by 15%. Reversing decades of legal rulings will take time.
Canada has an fantastic International reputation that will be jeopodized by any change. People will no longer picture Canada as a snowy country full of beavers and moose. Instead they will imagine Justin Trudeau with a big marijuana cigarette in his mouth. China, India and the middle east will feel particularly threatened by legalization. The state controlled media will make its citizens believe that Canada is a bunch a stoners.
The changes will likely lead to more fracturing. Within USA, the traditionists in the central states will feel increasingly surrounded by foreigners armed with dope. Internationally, China, Pakistan, India and Pakistan may accellerate their co-operation against the decadent west. China still remembers how Europeans with natural drugs devastated their country. The Vatican and other religious institutions will also play a role. Some Popes may pander to the pot-smoking populations of America. Others may align more with traditional nations such as Poland and Ukraine. Clearly the alliances that have prevented World War 3 will be tested.
Predicting the future of drug intake is problematic. Failures such as the "war on drugs" and "alcohol prohibition" baffled the government experts. Likewise successes are not easily understood. LSD and ecstasy usage is down. Veterans returning from war got weaned off heroin easily. The role of pop-culture and alt-culture and its impact on youth is especially hard to understand.
The legalization of cannabis may not be as profitable as expected. Bland government stores, with bland government staff, selling bland government product in bland government packages will not inspire consumers. A government monopoly working with a corporate oligoly isn't suitable for such a personalized industry. Of course, some districts will be more innovative than others. California, which will be 100% decriminaliized on Jan 1st, will have hundreds of small dispensaroes run by entrupennuers. Meanwhile Ontario will have 80 big stores and no dispensaroes. Two thousand knowlegeable pot-heads will be put out of work.