“Society has gotten to the point where every body has a right but nobody has a responsibility”—Unknown
Of course I’m going to weigh in on this discussion. I am of Irish heritage and we have an opinion on everything. Just ask us.
To begin I can say that I have had an extensive and in depth relationship with cannabis and related products beginning in the late 60’s and continuing until the late 80’s at which time I straightened up long enough to realize what I was NOT doing and so changed my lifestyle to one of providing service to those others who wanted to salvage some meaning to their lives. I went back to school and trained as a Social Service Worker specializing in alcohol and drug treatment. I have spent over 23 years in service to others including families. That should qualify me.
If you are a parent, single mom, single dad, a grandparent, someone who works in the legal field, social services, if you work for a school board, FACS, Big Brothers, are a counsellor-private or public (I know I’ve left out a few areas) you really need to read this article and watch or investigate the two links that I have included at the bottom of this page. I’m referring to the ongoing debate and the governments’ on again off again position regarding the decision to legalize pot. No big deal say some. On the contrary it is a huge deal. The following information is just the tip of the proverbial ice berg that passively lies in wait for our ‘titanic’ to sail by oblivious to the perils that lie before us.
I need to state clearly that I am all for anyone using cannabis as a legitimate medical aid. That should have happened years ago. Again our decision makers let their electoral success outweigh the obvious benefits to their constituents and now it has become yet another vote getting gimmick made with little common sense and minimal solid information. Two things come to mind here for me: Governments have finally realized that they cannot win the so called war on drugs, as it is being waged, no matter how many billions of dollars they throw at the problem. Dah! By legalizing cannabis they will save boat loads of money. They will also harvest a great deal of money from the sale and taxation of the product to the public. I believe the phrase is it is a real ‘cash cow’. The timing is suspect as well. Just before the coming election the government of the day will give us back some of our own money and then tell us what great managers of the public purse they are. All this will assist short term planning without a hint of any thought going into what the long term ramifications could well be from legalizing pot. That includes the increasee stress on the ailing health care system. It is simply a decision of convenience and expedience.
Lets look at just a few of the negatives of legalizing cannabis here:
1. We would be introducing yet another mood/mind altering substance into our daily lives which adds exactly zero to the quality of family and community life.
2. The legalization of pot is often suggested as a way for us to get in line with what other countries are doing or have done. Well, personally, I don’t care about what other countries are doing. We have our own culture and belief systems here. Our civility is built on a different foundation. Other countries allow euthanasia, for instance, as an option for dying with dignity and yet we won’t even consider a proper discussion to take place. All of a sudden we want to be different from other countries. I’m already confused.
3. According to Dr. Bernard Le Foll, Chief Addiction Researcher at the University of Toronto and a prominent Research and Treatment official at CAMH in Toronto, there is much that is not clear about the long term affects of frequent, consistent cannabis use and until that research and science provides more definite results we should not be moving forward with this idea of making cannabis more accessible. We need to develop definitive, specific treatment programs like we have with alcohol, tobacco and opiate use before we go any further. There needs to be clear regulations around the distribution of this drug. For years it was an illegal substance and now all of a sudden it’s OK to make it legal?? What gives with that? What has changed?
4. There is enough evidence to indicate a possible relationship between consistent cannabis use and the onset of psychosis, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, a reduced ability to retain/maintain focus (great if your driving a car), diminished reaction time and response time in crisis situations, more difficulty correlating facts and information (don’t folks have enough trouble with this now?), also believed to negatively effect rational thought process (decision making). Then there are some of the health problems like the connection of consistent cannabis use to possible increases in certain types of cancer–head, neck and lung cancer (increased health care costs), lack of motivation/decreased energy levels, apathy, reduced immune system functioning, may lead to the development of cardiovascular and respiratory systems problems and, believe me, the list goes on. (For more on this check out those two links I enclosed)
5. Many folks want to compare cannabis with tobacco or alcohol–really? How many people die each year of alcohol related deaths? More than the deaths from most other drugs combined. As for tobacco–it kills nearly 50% of those who use it regularly. Not a glowing recommendation.
We don’t know near as much as we need to in order to make an informed decision. I have worked in this field long enough to know that this drug has the potential to destroy lives and not just those who use it but those who have to live around it like families and children. I’ve witnessed so much of the agony and misery that surrounds the addiction to this particular drug.
Your FIRST line of defence here is to become better informed. Check out these two articles (links below).
The next point is that this is much too important to let the government have the final say in what happens next. I DO NOT TRUST THEIR MOTIVES OR THEIR RHETORIC IN THIS MATTER. IT IS MUCH TOO IMPORTANT ESPECIALLY WHEN CONSIDERING THAT MOST OF THEM WON’T BE AROUND WHEN THE REAL MESS HITS THE FAN IN ABOUT TEN YEARS.
At the very least this issue should be on the ballot during the next election–a referendum needs to be called. This is a monumental decision that will have adverse effects on folks that live coast to coast and one best not left to politicians. A true majority needs to decide–one separate from party politics.
That’s how I see it anyway–all the best–Jim
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO OTHERS WHO YOU BELIEVE CARE–THANKS