In conclusion, it is paramount for the legalization of marijuana to be terminatedor at the very least delayed. This is because although some advantages to theact are definite (i.e.
medical and justice system benefits), many of theoutcomes listed are determined from speculation and optimism (i.e. limitation ofcrime and violence caused by illegal dealing). On the other hand, many of thearguments made for the disadvantages on the issue are indisputable. Forexample, it is scientifically proven that marijuana use significantly affectsthe developing brain in young adults. It is also proven that marijuana acts asa gateway drug, so despite the claims that marijuana is only as harmful astobacco and alcohol, both of which are legal, it can lead to the use of moreharmful drugs.
Instead of pushing to quickly legalize marijuana for the sake ofkeeping an election promise, it is imperative, for the health of the country aswell as the rest of the world, that time is taken to consider every possibleoutcome, rather than rushing into a life-changing and potentially damaging decision. The process of the legalization ofmarijuana is being rushed. The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, yetthe act is still being pushed forwards and supported. A solution to the issuewould be to cease the action for the well-being of the public, or at least untilfurther discussions are debated.
However, this seems unlikely to occur sinceTrudeau and the Liberal Party are aiming to keep the election promises whichwere previously made. Rather than directly and immediately legalizingmarijuana, alternate pathways should be considered. Primarily, it is necessary thatall positive and negative outcomes of the action are discussed by the LiberalParty and the government in detail. From here, further steps in either for oragainst legalization should be implemented. As some protest, the predictedlegalization date should also be pushed, perhaps into the next year, toallocate time for all factors and consequences to be considered. Anothersolution could be to decriminalize marijuana but not to legalize it.Decriminalization means that the drug will remain illegal, however, instead ofan individual facing arrest and a criminal record for possession of a smallamount of the drug for personal use, the drug would be confiscated and a finewould be charged (“Alternative Responses to the Drug Problem”, n.d.
). Legalizationallows the possession and use of the drug to be entirely legal, but causes themanufacturing and distribution of the drug to remain illegal when done withouta license (“Alternative Responses to the Drug Problem”, n.d.). The legalizationof marijuana is a serious topic and cannot be handled lightly. Therefore, it iscrucial for the process to be taken step by step by first testing the resultsof decriminalization, rather than leaping the whole distance in a short timespan without considering the implications just to appease the public. The topic of legalizing marijuanais an important one as it will cause a significant change in Canada. In termsof social, law enforcement and economic reasons, the debate on marijuanalegalization showcases a few advantages.
As mentioned before, marijuana hasseveral medical benefits for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Legalization couldalso limit the crime and violence caused by the illegal distribution of thedrug. Furthermore, thousands of arrests have been made regarding the possessionof marijuana, which has led to the discussion on whether the resources of thecriminal justice system could be implemented better on more serious issues(White, 2017). Lastly, legalizing marijuana would allow it to be taxed, whichwould result in revenue being created for the government. Although there couldbe some positive outcomes, there are a vast number of significant disadvantageswhich need to be considered.
Already, plenty of problems are being caused by substancessuch as tobacco and alcohol. Legalizing another intoxicant will just lead tomore health-related issues. Marijuana can also act as a gateway drug and canlead individuals to use more harmful drugs such as heroin and cocaine (Goodman,2017). Even if minimum age limits were implemented, legalizing marijuana wouldresult in the drug being more easily accessible, and would inevitably causemore of the drug to fall into the hands of minors. This is a major issue as thehuman brain is developing until age 25, which the use of this drug would adverselyaffect. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana can significantly decrease IQlevels, double the risk of a car crash, and increase the chance of developing amental illness (Sabet, 2012). Additionally, legalizing marijuana could send outthe wrong message to the drug dealers and criminals, as it could imply that theauthorities are weak on the issue.
Finally, long-term or abusive use ofmarijuana is harmful to an individual’s health and similarly to cigarettes, thesecond-hand smoke released is harmful to others. Already, there is a dividebetween those who support the legalization and those who do not. Those who wantto legalize the drug believe that the laws barring it’s use cause more harmthan good. Those against the legalization state that laws set moral boundariesand standards, and that the removal of these laws will negatively affect thehealth and lifestyle of a vast number of people.
The abuse and addiction of drugs can be detrimental to the physical andmental health of an individual. Issues related to drugs are ever-growing aroundthe world. Marijuana – also called weed, pot, Mary Jane, and many other names –is a greenish-gray mixture of dried flowers from the Cannabis plant (“Whatis marijuana?”, 2017). It is a drug which is used both inmedical and recreational situations. In medical circumstances, marijuanacontains a chemical called cannabidiol (aka. CBD).
CBD displays medicalbenefits, such as acting as an anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory andantipsychotic agent (Axe, 2017). These properties allow marijuana to be used forthe treatment of various medical conditions. However, despite this advantage, marijuanais one of the most common recreational drugs used to achieve immediate feelingsof 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 knownas tetrahydrocannabinol (aka. THC) (“What is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)?”,2017). Effects of marijuana initially include relaxed feelings, intensificationof sensory experiences, increased socialization and increased appetite, but leadsto a change in thinking, memory, time perception, hallucinations, and suicidalthoughts (Davis, 2017). The feelings of euphoria which are achieved can also causean 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 tocontrol its manufacturing, distribution, and sale (Wilson-Raybould, 2017). Theobjectives of this Act are to prevent underage individuals from accessingmarijuana, to protect the public by applying product safety and standardrequirements, and to dissuade illegal activity by implementing penalties forthose who ignore the legal guidelines (Wilson-Raybould, 2017). Marijuana was once again made a topic of discussion byCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. During his election campaign, Trudeaupromised to legalize marijuana if he won the election. To fulfill his promises,Trudeau and the Liberal Party are pushing to legalize, regulate, and restrictaccess to marijuana.
Currently, the government has stated that the legalizationwill take place on or before July 1st, 2018.