The abuse and
addiction of drugs can be detrimental to the physical and mental health of an
individual. Issues related to drugs are ever-growing around the world. A
current major concern which is the root of many debates is the legalization of
marijuana in Canada. Marijuana – also called weed, pot, Mary Jane, and many
other names – is a greenish-gray mixture of dried flowers from the Cannabis
plant (cite). It is a drug which is
used both in medical and recreational situations. In medical circumstances,
marijuana contains a chemical called cannabidiol (aka. CBD). CBD displays many
medical benefits, such as acting as an anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and
antipsychotic agent (cite). This
results in marijuana being able to be used as potential medicine for the
treatment of epilepsy, neuroinflammation and schizophrenia (cite). However, marijuana is also one of the most common
recreational drugs used to achieve immediate feelings of 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 known as tetrahydrocannabinol
(aka. THC). Effects of marijuana initially include relaxed feelings,
intensification of sensory experiences, increased socialization and increased
appetite, but leads to a change in thinking, memory, time perception,
hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts. The feelings of euphoria which are
achieved can cause an 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. This bill enacts the Cannabis Act to allow
legal access to marijuana and to control its manufacturing, distribution, and sale.
The objectives of this Act are to prevent underage individuals from accessing
marijuana, to protect the public by applying product safety and standard
requirements, and to dissuade illegal activity by implementing penalties for
those who do not follow the legal guidelines. Marijuana was once again made a
topic of discussion by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. During his election
campaign, Trudeau promised to legalize marijuana if he won the election. To
fulfill his promises, Trudeau and the Liberal Party are pushing to legalize,
regulate, and restrict access to marijuana. Currently, the government has
stated that the legalization will take place on or before July 1st,
2018. However, many people, such as Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, argue
that the legalization of marijuana should be delayed by at least a year.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

              The
topic of legalizing marijuana is an important one as it will cause a
significant change in Canada. In terms of social, law enforcement and economic
reasons, the debate on marijuana legalization showcases many advantages. Marijuana is no more harmful to an individual’s health as
tobacco and alcohol, both of which are widely used and legal. As
mentioned before, marijuana has several medical benefits for diseases such as
cancer and AIDS. Legalization would also end the crime and violence which are
caused due to the illegal buying and selling of marijuana. Furthermore,
thousands of arrests have been made regarding the possession of marijuana,
which has led to the discussion on whether the resources of the criminal
justice system could be implemented better on more serious issues. Lastly,
legalizing marijuana would allow it to be taxed, which would result in revenue
being created for the government. However, there are also significant
disadvantages which need to be considered. Plenty of problems are being caused
by tobacco and alcohol. Although marijuana is only as
harmful as these drugs, legalizing another intoxicant will just lead to
more health-related issues. Marijuana can also act as a gateway drug and can
lead individuals to use more harmful drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Even if
minimum age limits were implemented, legalizing marijuana would result in the
drug being more easily accessible, and would inevitably cause more of the drug
to fall into the hands of minors. This is a major issue as the brain is
developing until age 25, which this drug will adversely affect. Studies have
shown that smoking marijuana can significantly decrease IQ levels, double the
risk of a car crash, and increase the chance of developing a mental illness. Additionally,
legalizing marijuana could also send out the wrong message to the drug dealers
and criminals. It could imply that the authorities are weak on the issue and
that the drugs are safer than perceived. Lastly, long-term or abusive use of
marijuana can be harmful to an individual’s health and similarly to cigarettes,
the second-hand smoke can be harmful to others. Already, there is a divide
between those who support the legalization and those who do not. Those who want
to legalize the drug believe that the laws barring it’s use cause more harm
than good. They argue that people should be free to choose whether or not to
use marijuana. Those against the legalization state that laws set moral
boundaries and standards, and that the removal of these laws will negatively affect
the health and lifestyle of a vast number of people. Overall, both sides of the
spectrum should be analyzed with greater detail before a decision is made.

              The
process of the legalization of marijuana is being rushed. A solution to the
issue would be to cease the action until further research is done, as currently
the negative outcomes outweigh the positives. However, this seems unlikely to
occur because Trudeau and the Liberal Party want to keep the election promises
which were previously made. Rather than directly and immediately legalizing
marijuana, alternate solutions can be considered. Primarily, all positive and
negative outcomes of the action should be discussed by the Liberal Party and
the government in detail. From here, further steps in either for or against
legalization can be implemented. As some protest, the predicted legalization
date should also be pushed into the next year to allocate time for all factors
and consequences to be considered. Another solution could be to decriminalize
marijuana but not to legalize it. Decriminalization means that the drug will remain
illegal, however, instead of an individual facing arrest and a criminal record
for possession of a small amount of the drug for personal use, the drug would
be confiscated and a fine would be charged. Legalization allows the possession
and use of the drug to be entirely legal, but causes the manufacturing and
distribution of the drug to remain illegal when done without a license. The
legalization of marijuana is a serious issue. The process should be taken step
by step by first testing the results of decriminalization rather than leaping
the whole distance in a short time span without considering the effects.