Stop the Legalization of Marijuana in Canada
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The legalization of marijuana is a dangerous decision that will not only impact the most vulnerable in our communities—the youth—but also create a nightmare for law enforcement and communities. In a world as divisive as ours Canada stands as a beacon of hope on the global stage. Canada is home to immigrants from every part of the world, many of whom are hurt and angry at the decision to legalize marijuana. Leaving an entire country behind is not an easy decision and millions have made this sacrifice to ensure a better future for their children. However, this vision is in jeopardy because a "better future" does not include a country where drugs like marijuana are legal and socially accepted. At the end of the day, the ability of the government to tax and earn money from a drug that has the potential to ruin the livelihoods of millions in unethical and wrong.This is not just an issue of emotion and betrayal but objective facts also indicate that legalization is not the appropriate route for Canadain society.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Pediatric Society, and a host of other public health organization are hesitant about legalization for a multitude of reasons. Their concerns include the increased risk of addiction, the harm marijuana can have on the developing brains of young adults and the potential effects on mental health. According to Christian Grant, a professor at Mcmaster University “1 in 7 teenagers who start using cannabis will develop a cannabis-use disorder, which is significant.” It can also hinder the professional and social lives of young adults who may find themselves unable to focus on work, school, and family/friends if they become addicted or use marijuana often recreationally. The federal government aims to set the age limit at 19 for the use and purchase of marijuana. However, the CMA recommends the age limit to be set to 21 and further restrictions be placed on the availability of marijuana to those under 25. The brain continues to develop until the age of 25 and regular cannabis use amongst teenagers can lead to long-term brain damage and difficulties with memory, attention and executive functioning. Furthermore, in a society that is increasingly dealing with mental health issues scientific evidence linking marijuana to anxiety and depression is still unclear. We do not have clear scientific evidence to say that marijuana use can or cannot cause problems with mental health and therefore, legalization without further research is deeply irresponsible.
Lastly, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Saskatoon Police Service have all voiced their concerns regarding the legalization of marijuana. Canadian law enforcement is not currently ready to enforce and regulate the legal framework outlined in the legalization plan and forcing them to deal with consequences of an irresponsible decision is unfair. Also when it comes to the area of driving the landscape gets even murkier. Driving while high “impairs your reaction time. It impairs your ability to multitask and pay attention” according to the Canadian Center for Substance Abuse. However, currently, there is no official roadside test to detect marijuana-impaired drivers.
For the safety of our youth and communities, we must oppose the deeply irresponsible decision to legalize marijuana. Please sign this petition to show the federal government that we Canadians will not stand for this!
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