Friday, February 23, 2018

Open Space: Marijuana should not be legalized for recreational use

July 11, 2017 by Elias Orrego, contributing writer

Marijuana should not be legalized in BC for recreational use because of the associated health and safety risks.

Medicinal marijuana has been recognized and legalized in BC for its health benefits; its effectiveness in pain relief, without the side effects from commonly used prescription pain medication like morphine, is invaluable. The budding gold mine has also been used to increase appetite for patients who suffer from reduced appetite as a side effect of other medication. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD have also been effectively treated by this natural alternative.

If the drug can be so helpful, why not make it available to everyone for use, without a prescription from a medical professional? This question creates a question of its own: how many of the drugs prescribed by BC doctors are legal for recreational use? Answer: none.

This story originally appeared in our July 12, 2017 issue.

Marijuana is most dangerous when it’s combined with alcohol. Any college student who has been to a house party could vouch that the joint and the bottle commonly go hand in hand.

Psychology Today has spoken out against the pairing of the two, claiming the substances have a reverse effect on one another at the neurological level, leading to an overuse of each that may result in death (marijuana can suppress the urge to vomit, which can result in alcohol poisoning). We’re losing enough people in BC to fentanyl; there is no need to legalize something that could potentially be so destructive.

If the government legalizes marijuana, it would send members of the province, including the young and impressionable, the message that marijuana is not that bad.

According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction, the developing adolescent brain is at risk for many negative side effects of chronic use of marijuana, including difficulties with thinking, memory, and attention. Chronic use may also place adults and adolescents alike at a higher risk of developing anxiety, depression, psychosis, and lung cancer.

According to ICBC statistics on motor vehicle fatalities, 23 percent involve impaired drivers, killing an average of 66 individuals per year. THC can remain in the body for up to four weeks after use for regular users and two weeks for occasional users. Few are likely to wait the several days that may be necessary before driving again would be deemed safe. Accidents and fatalities are likely to increase with legalization.

The influence this drug has on increased alcohol and tobacco use and dependence for users does not need to increase further. Drug talks in public schools in BC in the past have commonly referred to marijuana as the gateway drug leading users to experiment with harder and more dangerous drugs. Where will the line be drawn?

In the interest of the safety and health of BC residents, legalization of marijuana for recreational use is one gate the provincial government should not be inclined to open.

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2 Responses to “Open Space: Marijuana should not be legalized for recreational use”
  1. chancey says:

    marijuana doesnt cause lung cancer get that through your thick skull!!!! donald tashkin is a doctor with over 30 years of experience an he tested an was funded $ by the GOVERNMENT to test marijuana an prove it was a cancer causing substance an what he discovered was that it is safer on the lungs an might even protect them. even heavy use he states that its safer then abusing tobacco

    • jer says:

      this is actually incorrect sorry. irritation and inflamation are the hallmarks of cancer. the cbd and thc may not cause cancer however the smoking of it will. it also leads to chronic obstructive lung diseades like copd and emphysema. but im just a cancer researcher and nurse what do i 8know? lol