Pubdate: Wed, 16 Dec 2015
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2015 The Halifax Herald Limited


The prospect of marijuana being sold in LCBO outlets now seems 
likely, with endorsements this week coming from both Premier Kathleen 
Wynne and main Ontario public-sector union rep Smokey Thomas.

While the approach makes sense from a regulatory point of view, and 
will help maintain LCBO jobs while removing the stigma of a criminal 
record for recreational users who get caught, we suspect that many 
readers of this newspaper will remain discomfited by the seeming 
endorsement of another drug. Many will still wonder why anyone who 
doesn't need to for medical reasons would want to smoke marijuana, or 
ingest some edible marijuana product.

A lingering uneasiness associated with perceived acceptance of the 
so-called "soft" drug was reinforced this week when the Canadian 
Pediatric Society expressed reservations about giving medical 
marijuana to children with various ailments. The society said it has 
yet to be proven that doing so is effective, or does not produce 
harmful effects. Many medical experts say adults, on the other hand, 
can benefit from the pain-relieving properties of cannabis.

So who would want to smoke marijuana? The medical reviews are mixed. 
Some cardiologists extol the benefits of moderate amounts of red 
wine, but when was the last time a heart or lung specialist 
recommended smoking a joint? One wonders what neurologists would say 
about the effect on the brain of prolonged pot use. Moderate, 
occasional use on the other hand may have few if any health 
consequences while reducing stress and pain.

There is no question that North American courts are clogged with 
cases involving possession of small amounts of marijuana; presumably, 
that will be alleviated when the drug becomes legal in this country, 
something Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in favour of.

In the meantime, it is instructive to note the age and gender of 
those who are often stopped by provincial police on the Trans-Canada 
Highway for drug possession: mostly men in their 20s and 30s, who are 
likely generally aimless and have nothing to lose.

Is it this group that will be snapping up marijuana products when 
they are sold in LCBO outlets? It's a good thing they have time on 
their hands: anyone who inhaled in their 20s and got stoned knows 
that the rest of the day may be a write-off. No energy, no focus.

"Beer is here," Wynne enthused this week, announcing the sale of ale 
and lager in supermarkets, including Thunder Bay's Superstore and 
Safeway stores. Not every premier is effusive when it comes to intoxicants.

Successful people who perform well at work and make society a better 
place might enjoy a glass of their favourite tipple with a meal, but 
they probably don't get drunk.

This what's hard for some to reconcile about marijuana and the 
implied endorsement it's been getting from public officials these 
days. For many, taking the drug is all about getting high.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom