Moving past marijuana use

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Liberal MP Justin Trudeau’s recent revelations of his marijuana use have sparked much debate of whether or not the drug should be legalized. I think that this debate has become very outdated.

For decades, marijuana has been illegal throughout Canada and many people have been concerned about this drug becoming easily accessible to underage teenagers.

Honestly, there are much worse drugs that could be legalized than marijuana. I think that it is time we make that progressive change.

I have never smoked pot a day in my life, but I do not judge anyone who chooses to do it. I don’t think that someone who doesn’t smoke marijuana is any better than someone who does. If anyone assumes that marijuana is only used by thug-like burnouts, they’re just as ignorant as they are wrong.

Prominent figures such as Trudeau, Bill Clinton, Kathleen Wynne and President Barack Obama have admitted to using marijuana both in their youth as well as in their adult careers.

If they had been addicted to a much stronger or dangerous drug like cocaine or heroin, they would not be in the high-ranking positions that they hold today. In fact, when I found this out, it barely registered itself as a big deal to me.

The reality is that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes and has fewer impacts on the development of the human brain than drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Marijuana is also, arguably, less addictive than alcohol and other substances. So why are we still more concerned about marijuana than we are with other drugs?

And who is to say that marijuana is purely an “evil” drug? Should medical cannabis also be considered illegal?  The effects of herbal smoking may bring on relief faster, but using other ingestion methods may ensure the relief comes on slower, is with you longer and affect you in a completely different yet effective way.

Medical marijuana will affect the injured muscles, joints, and back in a more calming manner. Contrary to the popular belief of the media, those who have used medical marijuana have claimed that the drug doesn’t just go right to your head; it goes to the place in the body that needs the healing.

In other words, medical cannabis does not enable others to get high and should therefore not be categorized as a danger.

By ingesting the medical marijuana through teas or cookies, for example, you can give yourself controlled doses throughout the day to manage your pain levels. To control this usage so those who do not require the medical cannabis won’t abuse it, doctors will only provide it through prescription. This is just one more step that would be taken to ensure safety if marijuana finally became legalized.

Instead of considering the positive aspects that come from the legalization of cannabis, people tend to fixate on the negative experiences that have happened as a result of misusing the drug. I feel that it is unfair to only recall these isolated experiences.

It is clear that Canada takes marijuana possession as a much more serious offense than it probably should be. Trudeau recently revealed that Canadian taxpayers spend more than approximately $500-million a year on enforcement and punishment related to marijuana convictions. In most cases, the possessor held less than 2oz of the drug.

Something that I feel will still be beneficial with the legalization of marijuana is that this decriminalization will do nothing to eradicate criminal control of the pot trade or to limit access by minors.

Obviously, marijuana wouldn’t be legally recognized without government officials taking the proper precautions to ensure the safety of all involved.

With this legalization will come a responsible regulatory framework informed by a scientific assessment could place limits on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels that could be sold in convenience stores or marijuana stands.

The legalization of marijuana is a movement that has been 30 years overdue. It is obvious that precautions would be taken and everything that can be done to be safe will be done.

Every year, our way of living changes and we accept more revolutionary changes in our society. It is time that we evolve with the times and finally make illegal marijuana a thing of the past.


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