Pubdate: Sat, 25 Nov 2017
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Glen Motz
Page: B6


Trudeau's Liberals have been rushing their campaign promise to
legalize marijuana in Canada while medical professionals, provinces,
municipalities, Canada's policing community and the Conservative
Opposition have raised serious concerns on the timeline and the
impacts. This week the Liberal government released an online
consultation about their new regulations. They are repeating many of
the mistakes recently highlighted as problems in Colorado.

The Colorado Spring Gazette reported that after five years of
legalized marijuana the negative community and youth impacts have been
significant and problematic. High school drug violations were up 71
per cent along with an increase in school suspensions. Grade school
children, kids aged 5-13, saw drug violations increase 45 per cent.
Marijuana use among Colorado youth was the highest in the United
States, even though the legal age to purchase and possess is 21 years
old. Deadly crashes where drivers tested positive for marijuana
doubled in five years. Homelessness growth is among the top of their
country. In fact, the legalization of marijuana has attracted many
homeless to Colorado, putting strains on their supports systems.

Higher impaired driving, increased dropouts, higher unemployment - the
Gazette even notes the negative impact on tourism from the ever
present scent of grow operations and processing plants. Colorado has
now organized a large coalition of doctors, health care professionals,
parents, and addiction recovery experts to try to combat what the
article calls the "long-term effects of a commercial industry
profiteering off of substance abuse."

This is not the Canada we want or need. We need supports for those
with addiction and mental health challenges, not create more problems.
We need to come together to end homelessness - as Medicine Hat has
shown is possible. We need to provide each child with an opportunity
to reach their full potential and lead the world in learning.

I encourage everyone to send a clear message to the government by
participating in the online survey 
The government has promised to publish the results online. Let the
Trudeau Liberals know that jobs, opportunities, and strong communities
are Canadians' priorities.

The Liberal government would do well to learn from the mistakes of
others. The legalization of marijuana will adversely impact public
safety on our roads and workplaces, lead to increased drug abuse in
our youth, amplify long-term health-care costs and will devastate
lives and communities.

Glen Motz

Medicine Hat

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(The writer is Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.)
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