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Pot debate must focus on children
I have some deep-rooted concerns regarding the manner in which demands for a referendum on the complicated issue of the legalization of marijuana are being pursued by Sensible BC.
I do not like the way Sensible BC is pushing and bullying for legalization and yet doesn’t even seem to consider the enormous negative implications, especially in regards to our youth. What about driving while under the influence of marijuana? Or the negative effects marijuana has on addicts who become chronic users?
There are a multitude of other issues regarding legalization being conveniently ignored.
If we are going to have a referendum, let’s figure out how to protect the children as part of its mandate.
Adults are going to smoke marijuana, and I respect that choice. They are going to smoke it, whether it is legal or illegal. Should it be legal for five- or six-year-olds to smoke marijuana? Would even the most extreme pot advocates agree that this is the way we want our society to protect our children?
The demands to legalize marijuana without any form of guidelines or consequence of the grow-ops, distribution and possession is frightening. The longer marijuana-advocacy groups ignore the potential negative sides of legalization, the more they will hurt their cause.
Personally, I don’t smoke marijuana, and this is my choice. I agree the current system of policing marijuana is not working. I also agree that marijuana is about as harmful as alcohol, but two wrongs don’t make a right.
The BC Compassion Club is a step in the right direction, and I am glad this organization exists.
Before there is discussion of further legalization, make sure that part of the mandate of the referendum is how to protect society from the potential negative consequences. Legalization is not a black-or-white issue.
Let’s make sure a referendum, if there is one, is specific to protecting society and not just making it more convenient for marijuana consumers to get high – because getting high is what marijuana is really about, it is not about civil rights.
Getting tax dollars off the misery of people addicted to cannabis is not the right solution, either. Find some other way to gain blood money, please! Addicts need our help and protection, not our condemnation.
Colin Fletcher, White Rock