Pubdate: Wed, 02 Sep 2015
Source: Surrey Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Surrey Leader
Authors: Amritpal Jammu and Jasjot Mangat


Should recreational use of marijuana be legalized?

With the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington and Oregon,
and with the inconsistencies surrounding marijuana dispensaries in
B.C., we are young citizens who have many questions about where our
community is headed in regard to marijuana.

Should Canada move from legalization of medical marijuana to an
inclusive legalization for recreational use?

Arrests for pot possession in this province have been increasing -
although the number of arrests depends on the region of the province
where people reside.

As criminology students at Kwantlen who hope to enter a career in law
enforcement in the future, we have been looking at health and legal
issues around recreational marijuana in the Lower Mainland for a
writing course with Dr. Sue Ann Cairns.

We do not use marijuana, and thus we have no vested interest in
whether or not marijuana is legalized.

However, we do hope that when we are enforcing laws in our community,
that the laws are consistent and make sense.

As citizens of this province and Surrey, we are concerned about the
police time and costs associated with enforcement of our current laws
regarding possession of marijuana.

We have discovered both pros and cons regarding legalization of
recreational marijuana. The cons include the following points:

* Possible gateway drug to other forms of more dangerous drugs such as

* Health risks, especially for adolescents whose brains are still

* Impairments in judgement and memory while under the

* Likelihood that legalization will not be a cure-all for the illegal
marijuana trade.

The pros include these points:

* Reduction of black market;

* Economic benefits associated with taxation and licensing;

* Cost savings for courts and police time;

* Potential reduction of illegal supply in black market;

* Economic benefits associated with taxation and licensing.

Recognizing there will be a strong need to think this issue through
carefully, we believe it is high time we have more public dialogue
around this question.

Amritpal Jammu and Jasjot Mangat

Criminology students

Kwantlen Polytechnic University
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