New Brunswick

Customers talk moments in history, reducing stigma, while lining up for legal weed

The second the calendar flipped from Oct. 16 to 17, Mount Allison student Lauren Bourgeois said her Snapchat was "lit" with posts from friends raving about the fact that cannabis was officially legal in Canada.

Students, soldiers and many more lined up at Cannabis NB locations across New Brunswick

Many New Brunswick residents waited outside Cannabis NB stores to buy their first legal recreational marijuana. (CBC)

The second the calendar flipped from Oct. 16 to 17, Mount Allison student Lauren Bourgeois said her Snapchat was "lit" with posts from friends raving about the fact that cannabis was officially legal in Canada.

"Last night was pretty crazy," said Bourgeois on Wednesday. "Everybody at [midnight] was sending snapchats, posting it everywhere saying that it's legal."

Bourgeois lined up with many others to check out the new Cannabis NB store in Sackville. It was a day fellow Mount Allison student Laren Bedgood didn't want to miss.

"This is a day that's going to go down in history internationally, so I wanted to come on the first day so I can be a part of it," said the political science student. 

"The end of a historic prohibition of this drug is pretty interesting to me in terms of the political side of things." 

Zachary LeBlanc is excited to be able to buy his weed from a reliable vendor. (CBC)

Zachary LeBlanc started using marijuana in his first year of university, and on Wednesday he was in line outside the Cannabis NB store on Moncton's Main Street before the shop was open.

"At a liberal arts university especially, most people smoke pot. There wasn't really a whole much of a stigma surrounding it but then again, it's not necessarily a representation of the rest of the country," said LeBlanc.

Now he thinks other people will get a better understanding of marijuana. 

"It will reduce the stigma," said LeBlanc.

"People who previously haven't purchased it or feel a little iffy about purchasing it because maybe not because they know too much about it but just because it's illegal, it might help them look into more education surrounding it."

Legalization on base

Thomas Cleggette isn't worried about how the legalization of recreational marijuana will be received in Oromocto. He says it's a welcome change. 

"With the amount of PTSD patients in the area, I think it's going to be a big thing and I feel like everybody I've talked to in the military, they wanted it," said Cleggette.

"I mean, there's going to be the few that don't but it's going to be better off for everybody in the end."

David Patterson was among those in line buying legal recreational cannabis. (CBC)

David Patterson is among those excited about the change. He's been stationed at Base Gagetown for two years, and showed up in uniform to buy his first legal weed. 

"We did a bunch of briefs earlier in the week about it and went over all the rules and the idea is as long as you play by the rules you're not going to have any issues," said Patterson. 

"The army right now is trying to treat it mostly like alcohol, there's some differences to it, but for the most part if you're not an idiot you'll be fine."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Drost is a reporter with the CBC.

With files from Hadeel Ibrahim and Tori Weldon

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