Pubdate: Thu, 18 Feb 2016
Source: Sarnia Journal, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Sarnia Journal
Author: Nadine Wark


A hot topic around the country these days is the current marijuana
laws and the suggestion that pot may soon be legalized.

At the present time, cannabis is available for medicinal purposes only
and it is still a criminal act for anyone else to access. I wonder if
'the powers that be' are thinking of the consequences of legalizing
marijuana for society.

In the state of Colorado, where legalization became a reality in 2013,
the taxes collected from the sales provided a nice windfall. In other
words, the dollar signs blinded the eyes of those in authority who
think only of the monetary gain and not the long-term

With respect to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggests that
any sales revenues be used for addiction treatment, health support and
educational programs. (Now isn't that ironic?)

Some will deny any harm to our youth. However in their formative and
young adult years, pot use can hamper brain development, resulting in
memory loss and the ability to focus and solve problems, among other
issues such as lung and heart problems. How there is justification for
the legalization of a harmful drug is beyond my scope of

Many hard drug users did get their start with pot, although pot
smokers will continue to say that isn't the case, especially if they
personally have not progressed to a harder drug.

According to the Government of Canada's own website marijuana is much
stronger today. The average level of THC, the mind-altering component,
has increased 300% to 400% in the past few decades.

There is even talk from Premier Kathleen Wynne of the possibility of
pot being sold at your local LCBO, should it become legal. That would
mean a 'one-stop shop' for booze and pot, just what we need to add to
the ongoing impaired drivers already on our streets.

There would be the buyers who would, no doubt, stay off the streets in
their impaired state, but many would not. The police would have to
spend more time when making arrests and convictions. And this might be
a stretch, but what next =C2=85 your local corner variety?

Some say legalization will make it harder to access marijuana, but who
is going to do all the necessary monitoring of the 'under-agers'
looking to buy. Another problem is that a fringe group of people will
take to the streets and distribute/sell for their own profit. This
would only add to the crime element already taking place.

Former politician and LCBO chairman Andy Brandt recently said in a
Sarnia Journal article that we should proceed with caution and handle
with care and that "much more work needs to be done."

Wise words.

Nadine Wark is a retired office administrator and freelance writer who
resides in Sarnia.
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