The legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada is just hours away.
Officials, consumers, and retail workers, alike, are scrambling to prepare for the big moment.
TL;DR Scroll down for 11 reasons why you shouldn't buy legal weed tomorrow in Canada.
But among this exciting rush, much still remains uncertain.
In fact, legalization day will be a mess in Canada. It may be best for Canadians to put off their first legal purchase of marijuana until the situation settles.
Here are eleven reason why:
You may be captured on camera
Media teams will arrive at dispensaries well before consumers. Expect hourly reports on the progress of legalization day to dominate television and social media. Crews will regularly interview consumers and capture footage of individuals waiting in line for their first sample of legal weed.
Thousands of photos and videos will also circulate on social media as eager Canadians test their product and report on customer service at retail locations.
You will more than likely be captured on camera. That's risky.
Despite legalization, taboo still dominates public perceptions of the drug. If an employer sees you buying cannabis before work hours, you may face a tarnished professional reputation, if not a mandatory drug test.
Law enforcement will also be keeping track of marijuana sales. Officials are extremely concerned about black market reselling and sales to minors.
Thousands of people will line up and wait times may reach several hours in length
Only today have opening hours for cannabis dispensaries become public information. But still uncertainty clouds legalization.
Some predict that thousands of people will line up. Lines will likely wrap around entire city blocks. Wait times may reach hours in length. Unfamiliarity with the drug will only exacerbate waiting periods. Servers will have to spend extra time assisting curious patrons.
The initial excitement will probably subside within a week. Then cannabis retail stores will become more accessible.
It may be dangerous
Those crowds of thousands will clog dense shopping and urban areas. Vehicular traffic, too, could come to a standstill. Downtown parking will be even more sparse.
That congestion could create a dangerous situation for drivers and pedestrians, alike.
Excitement and apprehension also tend to spell retail disaster. Consider American wholesale stores on Black Friday and the stampedes of overeager shoppers. Except tomorrow many of those shoppers will also be high on weed.
Anger over wait times will only heighten tensions. There may be brawls.
U.S. officials are watching
Canadians who admit to contact with marijuana to American officials could face lifetime bans from entering the United States. Legalization day will force those officials to be extra vigilant at ports of entry.
The ciruclation of photos tomorrow could endager Canadians' ability to enter the United States. Images of cannabis-consuming individuals will be readily available to customs and border agents.
There will be heavy law enforcement presence
The threat of thousands of anxious customers filling sidewalks will prompt law enforcement agencies to deploy more officers to the streets and roads. Expect police officers to post cars throughout urban areas in an attempt to catch high drivers. Tickets for road infractions and public decency violations will be distributed generously to set an example.
Remember also that there is no real precendent for legalization. Canada is only the second country and first major economy to do so. Law enforcement agencies will be anxious.
Police forces will be reinforced with supplies and manpower. They will take no risks and prepare for the worst.
The streets will be flooded with high revellers
In provinces and municipalities where public consumption will be legal (and even in jurisdictions where it is not) hundreds of high people will take to public parks.
Expect hundreds of parties both public and private. On the evening of October 17th a smoke cloud will rise from Canada great enough to be visible from space.
All joking aside, celebration parties with nearly endless supplies of marijuana will carry on throughout the day.
That will be unpleasant for everyone else.
Cannabis retail workers will be unprepared to serve you
Despite promises from government-run dispensaries that their workers are well-equipped for legalization day, there is no experience like hands-on contact with customers.
Workers will be learning as they go. Mistakes will be made. There are no tested guidelines for this process.
In some provinces, those dispensaries are also understaffed.
In provinces where private retailers will sell cannabis, the situation will be even more confusing. Among those sellers, standards for sales will be only loosely governed. Service will vary store to store.
You will be disappointed if shelves empty
If early predictions are any indiciation, Canada will quickly run out of its legal cannabis supply. There's no telling yet just how fast shelves will empty, however, because demand is still uncertain.
But what is certain is that legalization will generate enough excitement to multiply standard demand.
Stores may close early to ensure they have enough product for the next day or to restock shelves without customer interference.
Some people will definitely be disappointed.
Prices may be higher
No pun intended.
In most provinces, governments will manage cannabis prices. But extra high demand on the first day of legalization may encourage retailers to post inflated prices to capitalize on the excitement.
Prices may come down after a few days or weeks.
People are clueless as to which products are right for them
Lots of misinformation still circulates about marijuana.
The government has released a definitive list of products that will be avilable tomorrow, but they will vary in intensity and physical effect.
Most consumers will be totally unaware of which product are right for them. That will create confusion and perhaps heighten danger.
Slowly, reviews of legal product will become available for Canadians to examine before they make their purchase.
Reports from the first week of sales will be crucial
The next few weeks will inform cannabis policies, ettiquette, and sales protocols. Policies are still infirm.
It may be best to put off a legal marijuana purchases until regulations become more clear and widely reported. That will give politicians, sales clerks, and law enforcement time to make sense of their initial experiences.
Stay safe, Canada!