A host of challenges have faced local governments, business entities, and even private citizens as Canada gears up for recreational marijuana legalization on Oct. 17.
One of those issues has been a bit more peculiar than the others, and centres around a cartoon pot leaf named “Buddy”.
The city of Leduc, Alberta launched an outreach program in the wake of the passage of the Cannabis Act to inform citizens of how legalization would impact the community. The face of that program was Buddy, a cartoon pot leaf who explained the rules of recreational usage for adults in Leduc.
Buddy has since been removed from all Leduc literature and signage following outcry from local citizens concerned that the cartoon leaf was meant to appeal to children.
The Cannabis Act only allows recreational usage for adults, and requires that advertising for marijuana products not be enticing to children in any way.
Following extensive public comment and a full review of the outreach campaign, Leduc decided to scrub Buddy entirely. This statement regarding that decision was posted via the city’s official Facebook profile:
Messages of thanks were posted from a handful of Facebook users, but it quickly became clear not all residents were pleased by Buddy’s removal.
One resident posted this deadpan comment: “I’m so happy to see that every other problem in Alberta has been solved, so that we could focus on a cartoon pot leaf.”
A slew of user-created hashtags have since appeared on Facebook and Twitter lamenting Buddy’s loss, including #RIPBuddy, #FreeBuddy, and #neverforgetBuddy.
A full breakdown of how legalization is expected to impact the city of Leduc can be found at the city’s revamped Need To Know campaign website.