Marijuana’s legalization long overdue

Some years ago — perhaps decades, I don’t really remember — a former Parti Québécois government floated a trial balloon about legalizing marijuana in the province. It was just a statement, really, to the effect of “we would like to look into legalizing marijuana.”

The story goes that shortly thereafter, some party members received death threats from certain underworld criminal types, whose organization shall remain nameless here.

And the trial balloon floated away, and we didn’t hear anything more about the subject.

The possession and/or sale of marijuana is still illegal, except for medical pot, which is quite accessible for people with prescriptions.

But that is all about to change: Marijuana will be legalized for recreational use in Canada by the new Liberal government. Not all of the details have been worked out, such as whether the regulation and sale of pot will fall under federal or provincial jurisdiction.

But one thing is clear: it will generate tax revenue for provincial and federal governments.

And in theory, it will take control of the herb — marijuana is an herb despite its classification as a drug — away from organized crime and will make it more difficult for minors to get their hands on it.

I’m not convinced about the latter two points, though I suspect it will take some business away from organized crime. But I think there will still be a “black market” that will undercut the prices of commercial pot. And I think small-time pot growers will still operate their hydroponic farms and sell the stuff to their network of appreciative friends and, in turn, to their appreciate friends etc.

So police will still be making raids on illegal pot growers and sellers of other drugs; I don’t think legalization will take much burden off of them. They haven’t been busting individuals in possession of small quantities for a long time now.

There has been some talk that legalization would permit an individual to be in possession of one ounce at a time. But who will stop you from buying an ounce here, and an ounce there, and another ounce somewhere else, and before long you have a pound of the stuff tucked away in your cupboard at home — all purchased legally.

Or a pound purchased on the black market . . .

So I think it is a pipedream for officials to believe legalizing it will make pot more difficult for minors to get their hands on it. The people who sell it to them now will sell it to them afterward . . .

Not all provinces are happy with the idea of legalizing pot, including Quebec. The current Quebec government, a Liberal majority, is reportedly “alarmed” by the prospect, according to a Canadian Press article this week. “Public Security Minister Lise Thériault says questions of public safety are paramount and must prevail and that many parents share that same concern.”

Apparently, other Quebec Liberal “cabinet ministers didn’t hide their discomfort when asked … about the prospect of legalized pot in the near future.”

However, “Parti Québécois member Jean-François Lisée says legalization is long overdue, given that some U.S. states have already brought in the measure.”

Another article I read wondered if provinces would have the power to opt out of legalization. So, for example, it could be legal in Ontario, but not Quebec? That could lead to chaos . . .

Of course, one assumes the medical profession will have some input in all of this. The marijuana of today is far more potent than the stuff we smoked in the 1960s and ’70s. And inhaling the stuff is not exactly good for your lungs. Though, there are safer ways to ingest it . . .

I haven’t smoked pot since 2008. I used it for decades before that. I’m not sure if legalization now would entice me to consume it again — I would never smoke it again, but I might cook some and slurp it down with a spoonful of honey. But I enjoy having a clear head after all those foggy years. I never drink enough alcohol to get a buzz: I only drink a little wine at a time for the taste, yes, the taste. But pot is different: a few tokes, and you are buzzed.

Still, I’m with Monsieur Lisée on this issue: legalization is long overdue. It should never have been made illegal in the first place.

Now, with marijuana about to be legalized, how about LSD and mescaline? (winks)

— Jillian

4 thoughts on “Marijuana’s legalization long overdue

  1. It’s hard to argue facts:

    “Since the passage of HB10-1284, Colorado’s historical medical marijuana regulation legislation, current marijuana use among high school students in Colorado has dropped from 24.8% to 22.0% according to the Federal Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Assessment. You can view the 2011 report here and the 2009 report here. These findings are consistent with a recent report published by Professor Mark Anderson that shows no noticeable link between increased youth marijuana use and states legalizing medical marijuana. In fact, the reports show that marijuana use among teens in Colorado is slightly below the national average.”

    If a kid wants to get Marijuana – nothing is going to stop them.

    The morons we send to Congress have been controlled by the religious right for decades and they pass laws permitting anyone to carry a gun any time, anyplace, but legitimate research on the medical benefits of cannabis is a federal offense.

    I have never smoked anything or taken unprescribed drugs, but imagine my surprise to learn that a researcher in Israel has discovered that some compounds in cannabis reduce insulin resistance in lab rats. Since I take massive doses of insulin 5 times a day, this is good news – if I live long enough to see the research happen.

    LSD and Mesc? Well, how many people have died hallucinating on marijuana? How many people have committed violent crimes under the influence of marijuana? none that I can recall. But medical research should be allowed on any psychotropic drug. A researcher in Japan thinks that components in Mescaline could be used to treat PTSD because it has the ability to erase memories. I would take that in an instant to forget the Bush/Cheny crime syndicate.

    By the way, Queen Victoria used cannabis for her majestic cramps. I’m not sure why her cramps were more majestic than any other woman’s cramps.

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    1. Interesting comments, Steve.

      A lot of notable people in the past, before marijuana was reclassified from an herb to a drug, used it for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Many also used its derivative, hashish.

      I experimented with LSD and mesc during one wild summer back in the day (re: 1970). I would love to try them again if I could be guaranteed of their purity. But, of course, they’re not for everyday recreational use.

      But, as a former longtime user of marijuana, I can attest to the fact that it can produce hallucinations — though not of the LSD sort — and it has a residual effect on the brain that kicks in with hallucinatory “flashbacks” every once in a while (at least, for me, anyway).

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  2. Chemical compounds being inanimate are neither good or bad. It is how people use them. Most members of society being of sound mind will not (or rarely) abuse their bodies with any substance. For them no prohibitive measures are needed. If supply is ubiquitous, probably 20% of society will abuse to some degree. How can that be ameliorated? And at what expense? Hopefully cheaper than the costs of law enforcement today to outlaw them.
    It would have been much cheaper if we still had strong families and/or strong religious affiliations, but they have now been largely replaced by government programs which will never be as effective.
    Until society effects a way to make more people responsible, self abuse and its subsequent harms to themselves and others will be with us if supply is legal or illegal.

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