On paper, it all seems perfectly simple: five weeks from now Canada will flip a cataclysmic switch. And just like that, cannabis will be legal.

Goodbye, century of marijuana prohibition. Farewell, black market. Hello officer, put that badge away and sit for a while. There’s no crime here. Not anymore.

But as the government well knows, what’s written on paper won’t add up to anything nearly so blissful. Though Oct. 17 looms as a cultural and legal sea change, cannabis will not shed its stigma overnight.

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