Weed will be legal July 1st next your for recreation all across Canada, and this terrifies me. What if the economy fails in Canada because people will no longer work and will be unmotivated degenerates sitting in front of their TV screens becoming living 10 pin bowling balls. Because I know very little about weed and what it does other then it's a very bad drug based on what an OPP constable told me in the DARE program in my old public school.
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Thanks for your letter. So, yes, Canada already has legalized medicinal marijuana, and it will be legal for recreational use on July 1, 2018. Marijuana has gotten a bad rap since the early 1900s, when Mexican immigrants started coming in droves to the United States to work, bringing with them "marihuana." (Pardon me for mostly talking about the USA here, but it is still relevant to Canada).
Now, America had a long history of growing hemp to make rope and textiles, but taking it orally was limited to medicinal uses, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, for such things as increasing appetite and libido. When immigration came in from the South, a backlash against Mexicans began, and marihuana use was said to make Mexicans violent and dangerous (just another expression of racism in America). By the 1930s, there were all kinds of crazy exaggerations about marijuana as epitomized in the hysterical 1936 movie Reefer Madness, which portrayed weed use as if it were a mixture of LSD and cocaine. By 1970, the passage of the Controlled Substance Act had classified weed (cannabis) as a Schedule I drug, meaning it had no medicinal value (incorrect) and making it a crime eligible for long prison sentences. Bad propaganda was also spread, saying that weed was a "gateway drug" that led to harder drugs like heroine and crack.
About two decades later, however, the medical community began to recognize that cannabinoids in the plant did have helpful properties, especially regarding pain management, treatment of glaucoma, and for increasing the appetite of people on chemotherapy, but also for epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer's. While cannabis remained federally illegal, several states (California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Arizona, and Alaska) passed their own legislation making medical marijuana use legal.
Recreational use has been approved in five U.S. states: Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and, this year, in California.
Neither the medicinal nor the recreational use of cannabis in these states has resulted in increased crime or any other serious legal or social problems. In the meantime, money from sales has benefited these states. Also, since it is now legal, there is no reason to fill prisons with people who have been caught with a few ounces of Mary Jane in their pockets, so this stands to help reduce prison crowding.
So, who is still against marijuana? Well, liquor and cigarette companies who stand to see a reduction in sales, pharmaceutical companies that will lose sales on their expensive medications for which weed is just as effective, and private prison corporations and their employees (this is more of an American thing than Canadian) that stand to lose money if they lose population. Finally, a lot of old school law enforcement people (like your constable) still believe the hype about marijuana.
As a drug, cannabis use is no worse than alcohol, which is legal, and no worse for your health than cigarettes and e-cigs, which are also legal. So, my Canadian furiend, you are not going to see your fellow countrymen and countrywomen become a bunch of "unmotivated degenerates."
That all said, Papabear is against heavy use of drugs and alcohol because they are, bottom line, not healthy for you. So, avoid them if you can, but there is nothing morally wrong or evil or mind-destroying about weed. Remember, all things in moderation.
Oh, and there is another problem with cannabis cultivation: pollution. In California, marijuana farms in the north overuse fertilizers and pesticides that are damaging water supplies and killing endangered animals such as fishers.
These are all things to bear in mind when it comes to the controversial production and use of Cannabis sativa.
Hope that calms your fears but also gives you something to think about.
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