Pubdate: Tue, 08 Nov 2016
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 North Bay Nugget
Author: Alistair Wilson
Page: 4


At one time in Canada, marijuana possession and or trafficking was
punishable by a jail sentence or even deportation. But soon, Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau will live up to his promise to legalize
marijuana consumption and possession.

However, Daniel Leblanc organized a poll through,
that states nearly half of Canadians still don't support the
legalization of the drug. Despite the support, weed will become legal,
so the last thing to do is address the last percentage of unsure
Canadians that this is the right choice.

I as a young adult have a unique perspective on the issue, because I
have grown up in the environment that weed is as bad as any other
drug, through schooling as well as through my parents. However, new
studies have come out over the years that blatantly prove otherwise,
such as how it can be used for multiple medicinal purposes, and
getting high poses very little dangers on the body compared to alcohol
or cigarettes. Therefore, being told two different things is where
most people get confused, and don't know what to think.

The biggest contradicting factors that lead to various perspectives
are between the outdated school curriculum and the newly appointed
"pro-weed" advocate Justin Trudeau. Schools have been enforcing the
prevention of marijuana use for many years. This sentence taken from
our school curriculum website "describe the range of
effects associated with using cannabis and other illicit drugs (e.g.,
crack, cocaine, Ecstasy, crystal methamphetamine)."

Cannabis is mentioned in the same sentence as those other extremely
harmful drugs, when it obviously shouldn't be. Now, however,
contradictions occur when our prime minister is acting so for
marijuana and how legalizing marijuana would be a benefit to our
country, while the school system is continuing to disregard the drug
and the benefits it brings to the medical community, as well as its
recreational usage.

A marijuana industry would benefit Canada profusely. For example, in
the first year of Colorado's legalization, the income from taxation of
marijuana was around $76 million. As you can imagine, Canada, having
nearly 30 million more people, the benefits would be so much more, and
the growing relationship would mean it would only bring in more and
more money for the years to come, that can be put toward other
government funded institutions like schools, and hospitals.

Obviously, marijuana use shouldn't be done while at work, or school,
but the most severe effects explained by (center for
substance abuse research) are "a phase of euphoria and tranquility." A
fear some have is that legalizing marijuana will allow people easier
access to a drug that can result in impaired driving accidents, or
underage consumption. But Trudeau has plans in place to enforce more
severe laws against those exact violations, the same way alcohol is
governed. Which would make it essentially harder for the youth to
acquire the drug.

As for the remaining perception of marijuana as a harmful, gateway
drug, we need to do some more research. Because studies such as the
Guttman scale carried out through has represented alcohol
as a greater gateway drug over marijuana. Furthermore, there is
absolutely no case of someone overdosing leading to death, because for
that to happen someone would have to consume up to 20,000 times the
amount of weed included in a joint.

I'm not saying that this drug use is safe for everyone, at all ages.
Because there are links to drug dependency if used before the age of
14. As well as during adolescent years, marijuana has the possibility
to alter brain development, and other cognitive side effects. But you
probably wouldn't allow your child to drink energy drinks all day or
eat candy bars whenever they wanted either. If carefully monitored,
marijuana usage should be viewed in similar light as alcohol. You
shouldn't be doing it all day, every day, but it is a reasonable way
to cut loose, and enjoy your free time.

When the day comes for legal marijuana in Canada, surely the stigma
surrounding the substance will change. But for now, more exaggeration
should be put toward alcohol or cigarette usage, rather than a simple
plant that will give you the munchies.


Alistair Wilson is a second year political science student at Nipissing 
University student from Espanola.
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