Someone asked a friend of mine what Archemdis thought about marijuana becoming legal in some American States and decriminalized in Canada and so here is what I think.
(1) I think first off that both the Canadian government and the American government have lost their minds. The politicians of these two countries need to stop smoking weed, get off of whatever other drugs they are on and start thinking clearly. Something is throwing them backwards in time to the 60’s and 70’s when free love and smoking weed was the rage and they are trying to make it all legal now. l think that they need to put the Bob Marley records back on the shelf and allow themselves to grow up and seriously consider:
- The health risks associated with constant marijuana usage. (memory loss, damage to the respiratory system, an increased chance of getting cancer and having a heart attack, just to name a few)
- The reality that people do become addicted to marijuana and it is a habit as hard to break as smoking, with much the same withdrawal symptoms; I think that everyone on this planet especially those of us who have smoked know just how hard it is to stop.
- The fact that marijuana is a starting point into drugs for youngsters that often leads to the youngsters at least experimenting with drugs like cocaine and other drugs.
- The profits earned from the selling of marijuana are usually used to finance a drug dealer’s true ambition, which is almost always to buy and sell more profitable drugs like cocaine or heroin.
(2) The American government has been pushing a zero tolerance for illegal drug usage, illegal possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal drug possession for a long time. American Politicians really need to get it together and realise what a confused message they are sending out not only to their citizens, but also to the rest of the world when:
- They stop a Canadian from going to the Super bowl after winning a contest, because when he was 18 years old he got caught with a little marijuana, was arrested and ordered to pay what amounted to a $50 fine which left him with a criminal record; no problem the American government is sending a clear zero tolerance message when it comes to drugs right? Not so fast, now some American states are saying they are going to legalize the use of marijuana less than a year later. That zero policy message is not so clear now, in fact it is confusing and could see a lot of people in jail with criminal records for possessing small amounts of personal weed.
- They allow the law governing the usage of marijuana to be different in each state, while the federal government sticks to its zero tolerance policy; arresting citizens for having a hash pipe in their car, a coke spoon on a chain around their neck, or a roach of a joint is found in their car.
- You consider all of the attention that Justin Bieber generated, when police wanted him to answer questions about weed being smoked in his tour bus while touring in the USA, one begins to see that whatever the policy is on marijuana usage and possession, it needs to be the same in every state to avoid confusion, unforeseen arrest, detention and a person getting a criminal record for not knowing the law regarding marijuana in a particular state.
(3) Both the USA and Canada have spent billions of dollars if not more fighting a war against the usage, procession and distributing of illegal drugs. I personally do not believe that there is a soft side to drugs and that some drugs are more addictive than others. I can agree that the withdrawal symptoms of most other addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin are much greater in severity than marijuana and can even be fatal if one is not weaned off of them slowly and properly, but that does not mean that people do not find it just as difficult to stop smoking marijuana (weed, ganja, or pot as it is also called). If smoking weed is not addictive why would a person:
- On welfare make buying marijuana part of their monthly household budget and just do without other things that the money used to buy their monthly supply of weed could be used for?
- Who knows that smoking one joint of marijuana is the same as smoking 5 cigarettes still refuse to give up marijuana?
- Who knows that smoking marijuana increase the chances of having a heart attack by up to 5 times continue to smoke it?
- Who knows that the long-term use of marijuana has been linked to impaired thinking, memory problems, and psychological issues including anxiety, continue to smoke herb.
- Who knows that smoking marijuana slows the user down, which causes poor motor coordination and renders it unwise (if not unsafe) to drive or operate heavy machinery continue to smoke marijuana?
Besides being addictive and harmful I think that it is one of the most deadly drugs out there because everyone including some scientists and doctors keep down playing how addictive marijuana can be, as well as it negative impact on the user, society as a whole and on the economy of a country. I think that the biggest mistake that was made was when marijuana began to be touted as a pain relieving medication, because it once again opened the door for decriminalizing the use and therefore the selling of marijuana for the sole purpose of getting high. I think that we tend to forget the negative impact that marijuana use has on a country as a whole, as we struggle with the moral obligation to provide pain relief, relief from insomnia, nausea and loss of appetite for people in the final stages of cancer, or who are suffering the ill effects of chemo treatments.
I think that we tend to want to believe anything and are willing to try anything to look like we care and are doing all we can as doctors, governments and society, when we can not find cures to diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and so we say if it helps that person with their muscle tension and spasms what harm could it do to let them smoke or take medicinal marijuana. I agree that if it helps those suffering people that they should be allowed to use it after trying all other remedies and finding no relief, however as always there are those that would seek to take advantage of this merciful relaxation in the laws to advance their right to smoke marijuana recreationally, with no regard to how this complicates the matter and hurts those who truly are seeking a medical solution for some very serious medical issues.
I think that if we as a society are willing to legalize, or decriminalize the use of marijuana for anything other than medicinal use in some very specific treatments for very specific diseases than we might as well put morphine on the drugstore shelf and get ready to live in a world where the right to get high is considered a constitutional right, or a charter right. The cost of marijuana being made legal is that it is just a first step to the legalization of all drugs now considered controlled substances and illegal for the ordinary average citizens to possess or use without a doctor having prescribed them.
I say no to the decriminalization of marijuana because:
- I believe as a society we must protect those who are incapable of protecting themselves in an equal and fair manner. It becomes a little unfair and I would say hypocritical for government to protect heroin addicts from themselves and the rest of its citizens from them whether they want the help or not, but allow for the marijuana addicts to continue to hurt themselves and the rest of its citizens, because they choose to do so.
- The loss to our economy is great, because countless ideas that could have flowed from brilliant minds are lost as marijuana usage slows down the user’s thought processing and robs the user of his or her ability to remember things and achieve their potential greatness.
- It is the rest of Canadians that must pick up the medical tab for diseases that marijuana users open themselves up to by using marijuana.
- I am against anything that alters the mind and reality for any length of time let alone for up to 4 hours and allows for the user to be out in public and not under supervised professional care
- People still get behind the wheel of an automotive vehicle and think that they can drive properly while under the influence of marijuana, taking the lives of too many innocent people and causing serious, permanent life diminishing injuries to unsuspecting fellow citizens.
The legalization of marijuana use for any other reason than limited and professionally administered use in my opinion is tantamount to the opening of Pandora’s Box. Once that lid is opened there is no telling what will come out of it, but everything in our history and our nature tells us that it will not be good. People will always try to break the rules and justify why their particular addiction should be made legal; that is the thought process of a junkie. All junkies do not realize that they are addicts until they can’t afford their next fix, but very few see that needing to smoke marijuana every day as being the actions of an addict. I know a woman right now who would rather spend $200.00 on weed than get her hair done at a beauty salon, who when she tries to cut back on her usage of marijuana gets irritable, suffers bouts of depression and anxiety, gets paranoid, gets tired for no reason and has diarrhea, but refuses to see that she could be suffering from withdrawal, but instead makes the comment, “I do not know what is wrong with me, I must be coming down with something.”
I think that we are seeing the fruits of opening the box with the supreme court of Canada’s unanimous ruling striking down Canada’s anti-prostitution laws and we have yet to feel the brunt and the negative impact that all Canadians will have to deal with on so many levels for that little peek. It would appear that we are about to compound that decision with a few more bad ones, until we gain the wisdom and the courage to close the box back up and hide it once more.
Just for the record I am a cancer survivor, my mother died of complications brought on by thyroid cancer after a 6 year brave battle 10 years ago and my sister has just finished her chemo therapy and is now undergoing cell stem transplant treatments for Multiple Myeloma, but her prognosis short of a cure is death in approximately 5 to 6 years. I know what it is to wait for a cure, to hope for it, to desperately reach out for anything and my family is no stranger to pain, but I choose to put my faith and hope in research and refuse to let those who would seek to make something that is illegal for good reasons, legal for all of the wrong reasons.