In conclusion, it is paramount for the legalization of marijuana to be terminated
or at the very least delayed. This is because although some advantages to the
act are definite (i.e. medical and justice system benefits), many of the
outcomes listed are determined from speculation and optimism (i.e. limitation of
crime and violence caused by illegal dealing). On the other hand, many of the
arguments made for the disadvantages on the issue are indisputable. For
example, it is scientifically proven that marijuana use significantly affects
the developing brain in young adults. It is also proven that marijuana acts as
a gateway drug, so despite the claims that marijuana is only as harmful as
tobacco and alcohol, both of which are legal, it can lead to the use of more
harmful drugs. Instead of pushing to quickly legalize marijuana for the sake of
keeping an election promise, it is imperative, for the health of the country as
well as the rest of the world, that time is taken to consider every possible
outcome, rather than rushing into a life-changing and potentially damaging decision.

              The process of the legalization of
marijuana is being rushed. The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, yet
the act is still being pushed forwards and supported. A solution to the issue
would be to cease the action for the well-being of the public, or at least until
further discussions are debated. However, this seems unlikely to occur since
Trudeau and the Liberal Party are aiming to keep the election promises which
were previously made. Rather than directly and immediately legalizing
marijuana, alternate pathways should be considered. Primarily, it is necessary that
all positive and negative outcomes of the action are discussed by the Liberal
Party and the government in detail. From here, further steps in either for or
against legalization should be implemented. As some protest, the predicted
legalization date should also be pushed, perhaps into the next year, to
allocate time for all factors and consequences to be considered. Another
solution could be to decriminalize marijuana but not to legalize it.
Decriminalization means that the drug will remain illegal, however, instead of
an individual facing arrest and a criminal record for possession of a small
amount of the drug for personal use, the drug would be confiscated and a fine
would be charged (“Alternative Responses to the Drug Problem”, n.d.). Legalization
allows the possession and use of the drug to be entirely legal, but causes the
manufacturing and distribution of the drug to remain illegal when done without
a license (“Alternative Responses to the Drug Problem”, n.d.). The legalization
of marijuana is a serious topic and cannot be handled lightly. Therefore, it is
crucial for the process to be taken step by step by first testing the results
of decriminalization, rather than leaping the whole distance in a short time
span without considering the implications just to appease the public.

              The topic of legalizing marijuana
is an important one as it will cause a significant change in Canada. In terms
of social, law enforcement and economic reasons, the debate on marijuana
legalization showcases a few advantages. As mentioned before, marijuana has
several medical benefits for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Legalization could
also limit the crime and violence caused by the illegal distribution of the
drug. Furthermore, thousands of arrests have been made regarding the possession
of marijuana, which has led to the discussion on whether the resources of the
criminal justice system could be implemented better on more serious issues
(White, 2017). Lastly, legalizing marijuana would allow it to be taxed, which
would result in revenue being created for the government. Although there could
be some positive outcomes, there are a vast number of significant disadvantages
which need to be considered. Already, plenty of problems are being caused by substances
such as tobacco and alcohol. Legalizing another intoxicant will just lead to
more health-related issues. Marijuana can also act as a gateway drug and can
lead individuals to use more harmful drugs such as heroin and cocaine (Goodman,
2017). Even if minimum age limits were implemented, legalizing marijuana would
result in the drug being more easily accessible, and would inevitably cause
more of the drug to fall into the hands of minors. This is a major issue as the
human brain is developing until age 25, which the use of this drug would adversely
affect. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana can significantly decrease IQ
levels, double the risk of a car crash, and increase the chance of developing a
mental illness (Sabet, 2012). Additionally, legalizing marijuana could send out
the wrong message to the drug dealers and criminals, as it could imply that the
authorities are weak on the issue. Finally, long-term or abusive use of
marijuana is harmful to an individual’s health and similarly to cigarettes, the
second-hand smoke released is harmful to others. Already, there is a divide
between those who support the legalization and those who do not. Those who want
to legalize the drug believe that the laws barring it’s use cause more harm
than good. Those against the legalization state that laws set moral boundaries
and standards, and that the removal of these laws will negatively affect the
health and lifestyle of a vast number of people.

The abuse and addiction of drugs can be detrimental to the physical and
mental health of an individual. Issues related to drugs are ever-growing around
the world. Marijuana – also called weed, pot, Mary Jane, and many other names –
is a greenish-gray mixture of dried flowers from the Cannabis plant (“What
is marijuana?”, 2017). It is a drug which is used both in
medical and recreational situations. In medical circumstances, marijuana
contains a chemical called cannabidiol (aka. CBD). CBD displays medical
benefits, such as acting as an anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and
antipsychotic agent (Axe, 2017). These properties allow marijuana to be used for
the treatment of various medical conditions. However, despite this advantage, marijuana
is one of the most common recreational drugs used to achieve immediate feelings
of euphoria, also known as the “high”. This occurs due to its psychoactive
(mood-altering) effects on the body. The “high” is caused by a chemical known
as tetrahydrocannabinol (aka. THC) (“What is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)?”,
2017). Effects of marijuana initially include relaxed feelings, intensification
of sensory experiences, increased socialization and increased appetite, but leads
to a change in thinking, memory, time perception, hallucinations, and suicidal
thoughts (Davis, 2017). The feelings of euphoria which are achieved can also cause
an individual to develop an addiction to or dependence on marijuana.

On November 27th, 2017, Bill C-45 – The Cannabis Act –
received final approval in the House of Commons and is moving on to the Senate.
This bill enacts the Cannabis Act to allow legal access to marijuana and to
control its manufacturing, distribution, and sale (Wilson-Raybould, 2017). The
objectives of this Act are to prevent underage individuals from accessing
marijuana, to protect the public by applying product safety and standard
requirements, and to dissuade illegal activity by implementing penalties for
those who ignore the legal guidelines (Wilson-Raybould, 2017). Marijuana was once again made a topic of discussion by
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. During his election campaign, Trudeau
promised to legalize marijuana if he won the election. To fulfill his promises,
Trudeau and the Liberal Party are pushing to legalize, regulate, and restrict
access to marijuana. Currently, the government has stated that the legalization
will take place on or before July 1st, 2018. 

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