Should we legalize marijuana or not?
by Arianne Duchesne on September 12, 2016 - 12:25am
In this article written by Radio-Canada, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) strongly advises the federal government to not legalize marijuana for citizens under 21 years old. Most consumers who purchase cannabis for recreational purposes are teenagers or young adults aged between 14 and 25 years. The association affirms it is a pretty big issue of concern, which is why it claims to control the THC level in cannabis consumed by young people. Actually, in this case, THC is a substance that in long-term can affect a developing brain. In fact, CMA report several recommendations concerning marijuana. As mentioned earlier: it should have no consumption before 21 years. It should also have a limited amount in a transaction regardless recreational or medicinal purposes. To limit a rise in consumption, the association does not want advertising on recreational marijuana. It proposes to allow the cultivation of cannabis but only for medicinal purposes. Finally, Canadian Medical Association supports the prohibition of recreational use in public just like the laws for alcohol. Furthermore, it mentioned that the marijuana market is estimated at nearly 10 billions of dollars per year in Canada. The CMA proposes a tax on all cannabis products to curb the potential increase of consumption and to make money in order to reinvest in provinces (Radio-Canada).
This topic is definitely an issue which make us wonder what is right and wrong. As in every ethical issue, there are two sides of the debate. The ethical principles against the legalization of marijuana is more about respecting people’s autonomy and making advantage of the situation to be successful. Many values are taken into consideration such as ambition and health care. Of course, everybody who is against the legalization of marijuana would say that it could be dangerous on mental health for the teenagers. In fact, according to Health Canada, in 2011, the consumption of cannabis amounted to 9,1% for the teenagers of 15 years or more (Maryse Laneville). Indeed, for a developing brain, it could interfere with concentration and motivation, especially when THC is much stronger than in the 60s. Some suspicious people could wonder whether international relations and tourism could be affected by the legalization of cannabis. Furthermore, criminal motivation is not necessarily just about the product but money, legalization of cannabis could lead the dealers to sale hard drugs.
On the other hand, as much as ethical principles in favor for legalization of cannabis are about collective responsibility and security, it is also about individual responsibility and individual of freedom. The most important point is that people would be free of their actions because there would be more compromise regardless to the regulation of the cannabis. In fact, it has been proved that cannabis is not as harmful as alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Also, the ultimate goal is not to increase the availability of the marijuana but to control it. Therefore, the government may have an influence on the quality, quantity and the concentration of THC in cannabis. Legalization of cannabis is also about considering everybody’s interest equally because it could create jobs and the government could apply a tax on the product. In this way, all the profit generated by this legally market would be beneficial for all the taxpayers instead of criminal networks. Like it has been claimed earlier in the article by Radio-Canada, this market is estimated at 10 billion dollars per year (Radio-Canada). Indeed, it could be a huge asset for Canada to add this market to our economic activities.
Personally, I’m way more concerned about the children. The consequences of the legalization of marijuana could eventually bring something great and healthier for them because young consumers would be no longer on criminal networks. Nowadays, the people who manages the criminal market want to maximize their profit so we don’t even know what the dealers put in their commodities. The unknown substances in cannabis are what makes it dangerous for the teenagers who consume drugs on a daily basis. If it is the government that is responsible of the production, I would be more confident in the quality of the products. Finally, if this market could be an asset for everybody as a society, it is a new resource that should be considered to be instore. The potential legalization of marijuana poses a new question: are there other criminalized activities or practices that are not, in fact, harmful to Canadian society?
Laneville, Maryse. ‘’ For or against the legalization of marijuana?’’ Facts and causes, 2 Oct. 2013, http://www.faitsetcauses.com/2013/10/02/pour-ou-contre-la-legalisation-de-la-marijuana/. Accessed 11 Sept. 2016
Radio-Canada, ‘’ No marijuana before 21 years, require doctors’’, Huffington Post Quebec, 8 Sept. 2016,http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/09/08/pas-de-marijuana-avant-21-ans..., Accessed 9 Sept. 2016.