This Is Too Important To Trust The Government To Do the Right Thing . . .

Homer And A Joint

“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

Is marijuana dangerous? Should it be legal?

http://whataboutweed.org/?page_id=16

PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO OTHERS WHO YOU BELIEVE CARE–THANKS

Male Smoking A Joint

4 thoughts on “This Is Too Important To Trust The Government To Do the Right Thing . . .”

  1. I agree with everything you say here…. except for the idea that pot should remain illegal. I don’t think making it legal is the same as making it socially acceptable. Part of that is on family life. For example, chewing tobacco is looked down up. I hate it and think it’s a disgusting habit. However, it’s not my place or the government’s place to tell people who chew tobacco that they need to stop.

    That said, I would not choose for it to be legal if the government didn’t greatly regulate the drug. I was also not aware of the fact that we don’t have a method for helping people who are addicted to that drug. While these issues concern me, people who choose to do drugs will do so regardless of their legality. I’d rather not spend tax dollars keeping people behind bars for petty possession crimes Instead, use those funds on those who use drugs irresponsibly.

    but I’m also not an expert in this field, so let me ask… it seems apparent to me that a drug being illegal does not stop people from accessing the drug. Hell, I knew three kids in my high school I could have gotten drugs from if I wanted. If pot were made legal, is there any study that shows the likelihood more people would use the drug?

    Reply
    • Greetings TK and thanks for the response. You are right when you say it is not up to us to determine who chews tobacco or who uses cannabis. But there is a responsibility for governments to do the research and then present us with the findings. They do that now concerning food, whether imported or domestically grown, or products of some kind. I also feel that it should not be offered up until that information is available and deemed accurate and reliable. Ultimately we, as citizens, need to decide for ourselves. Once the true facts are known and the side effects are clear those who choose to use any substance whether that is alcohol, cannabis, tobacco or any other drugs for recreational purposes, should pay for their own health care needs. I don’t think it is fair to expect those who are not supportive of a recreational drug use life style to pay for the treatment of lifestyle choices. If the choice is up to the individual to use then the individual needs to accept the responsibility of the outcomes. The choice is theirs as you stated. I would rather help pay the tab for those who are victimized by diseases beyond their control.

      I also agree that I don’t want to pay for people to be incarcerated for their drug use. Lets leave the space open to house violent criminals–those who have demonstrated that they are not able to co-exist with others–those who are dangerous to the well being of others. If we are going to continue to hold those who deal or distribute drugs (especially to minors) accountable in some way then how about having them ‘paying their debt to society’ but engaging in public service work.They could satisfy their sentences on weekends then they can still work and contribute to the support of their families. Perhaps they could help clean up highways, paint public buildings, repair seniors homes, rest homes, subsidized housing, building roads or clearing government land. There are no shortages of projects that could use more manual labour. This way they could ‘give back’ instead of ‘taking from’ tax payers.

      As long as there is a demand there will be a supply. The more scarce it is or difficult to obtain the more expensive it becomes which creates more of a problem in the supply and demand cycle. People would likely grow their own. If it becomes legal to use it and to possess small amounts (how much is small?) I would prefer people just grow their own. The government should not be involved in the drug business on any level. In essence they become legalized drug dealers. That is not what they were elected to do. This is, to me, a people issue and not a government issue. The decision to legalize or not will impact us and our grand children for a great deal longer and the ramifications will be experienced for a great deal longer than any of these politicians will be around.

      I’m not aware of any actual studies that would suggest more people would use it. The general opinion is it would likely lead to an increase in use but no one is prepared to hazard a guess as to a % increase. Those who don’t use now because of the fear of arrest would likely jump in. Those who are on the border of ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ would likely jump in feeling like if the ‘government’ agrees with it then it must be OK. And just like alcohol now no matter how hard you try to keep it out of the hands of young folks it will always find its way to them regardless so I’m not sure that that demographic would be greatly affected.

      Again I thank you for your feedback. Please respond if you wish and I’d be happy to get back to you–all the best–Jim

      On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 4:15 PM, jimlifechoice wrote:

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  2. It is interesting how something that used to be considered a crisis needing to have great emphasis put on it in order to deter people from drugs addiction, that same thing is now look upon in a favorable way as it now produces income for the state.
    My personal experience with regards to its use was closer to yours. I used drugs for occasional recreation. I found that girls in particular are more susceptible to drugs because they are offered it freely. I never bought drugs. At one point I decided to quit and just did it.

    My ex husband who fell into the long and continuous use category said that he felt smoking post affected his response time on a more permanent basis. This could include all aspects of response, delay in speaking, making decisions, handling problems. That is from a person who has done several “cleansing” programs which helped a lot, but did not change the response time aspect.

    My offspring insisted “it’s only pot, smoking pot does not lead to other drugs” much to my dismay. You can only guide your children to a certain extent. When they are grown up, they make their own choices. In her case her smoking pot did lead to other drugs, meth. After ten years and my finally cutting her off from the family until she decided to clean up her act…one more year went by before she decided she was ready to do it. She went the hard route, incarceration, full-time drug rehab, halfway house. She was offered early release several times but knew she wouldn’t make it if she got out early. She had made up her mind to be free of the addiction. It was a full two years before she lived alone and another where she reported to a parole officer. She’s been clean now for five years and we have fully rekindled our family relations. We are the lucky ones. I know way more stories where recovery just never happened. And it all started with pot.

    I am with you, medical marijuana is a humane aide in certain cases, but even this can be abused.

    Reply
    • Greetings Mrs. P–thank you for responding to my article. It really does have such a detrimental affect on relationships both personal and family related. It is such a powerful drug in that people will sacrifice nearly all to use it and tell others that THEY don’t understand–it’s no big deal they say. I think the evidence is quite clear. Whether it is legal or not–people will continue to destroy their lives and the lives of those around them.

      Thank you for sharing part of your story. I appreciate your honesty and openess. I feel like I am singing to the choir here. You have seen what can happen and you have experienced what can happen. It is not pretty. The fact is, however, that one who uses can abstain from using with help and support but it is a long process and some just don’t see themselves making that journey. They would rather work at getting people around them to back off and let them do as they please. It is less a choice between family and the drug, although it does get down to that for the other family members who are affected, but is a choice between experiencing peace and happiness as opposed to chaos and despair in their lives. It is very difficult for ‘earth people’–those who have never used or have used sparingly and stopped on their own, to understand the strength of the drug on someones’ soul.

      Thanks again–all the best-Jim

      On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 7:16 PM, jimlifechoice wrote:

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