Pubdate: Sat, 21 Oct 2017
Source: Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Cornwall Standard Freeholder
Author: Etienne Saint-Aubin
Page: A7


A grandparent's prayer on the move to legalize marijuana use

In speaking of how we were all united in so many simple but important
ways on this earth, John F. Kennedy once said: "Our basic common link
is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We
all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

What follows is this mortal grandfather's prayer for his

For as it is true that we all cherish our children's future so do we
hold so dear that of our grandchildren. In a way, we perhaps see them
as our envoys into a future time. As they give us hope for a better
world, our heart aches with longing for a world of many tomorrows that
will at least be safe and welcoming for them.

The decisions we make today as a society, and the actions that we take
or neglect to take, all go towards shaping that future.

This is why this grandfather cannot remain silent in the face of wrong
steps taken and needed actions ignored or scorned.

I know that the move to legalize the production and sale of marijuana
in our beloved country is a well-meaning one. But in my heart I also
feel strongly that it is a naively wrong one which will bring nothing
lastingly good to us as a society.

We know children learn from us as they watch us closely almost from
the very moment they can see. They learn the lessons we teach by our
actions, whether we are conscious of this or not, and whether we want
them to or not.

What will we really be teaching our children and grandchildren as we
elevate the quest for a drug-induced high to a government-approved and
perhaps government-encouraged level?

Just as newspapers now contain inserts with LCBO ads praising the
glory and pleasure that will surely come to us if we consume this or
that intoxicating beverage, will there be similar advertising for the
pleasures of pot in order to fill the coffers of the province?

Remember the temptation will be great for government to promote
marijuana use just as it promotes alcohol consumption and gambling now
to make its financial ends meet, mostly on the backs of those who have
a great need to satisfy.

Will we be that surprised if a society to whom these pleasures are
pushed goes on to seek more and as-of-yet not legalized ones? Will the
answer then be to legalize those?

It is my prayer we will turn away from following this dangerous path
in the first place.

This prayer also seeks forgiveness for what has been left undone, but
also the strength to now support the measures that must be adopted to
set us on the right course.

Because of our ways, we have been moving towards a climate crisis that
will cause great suffering and upheaval. We have remained too silent
when governments have needed to be prodded into action. We have at
times joined with loud and uninformed voices of denial in opposing
needed concrete measures.

As caretakers of this earth we share, we have forsaken our duty, and
we must hope to have the courage to act now.

But the struggle to help shape a better future often meets with strong
resistance. So it is with steps taken in Ontario to try deal with
poverty by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, to help give a
living wage to so many who work hard, but are still condemned to be

May understanding, compassion and faith soften the hearts of those who
oppose this simple justice.

In this as in all else, may we be able to better see our way today
between right and wrong, for our grandchildren's sake tomorrow.
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MAP posted-by: Matt