EDITORIALS

 





By ANDRÉA TREMBLAY
Arts, lettres et communications,
option 
Langues

 

 

HIPPIES
WOULD
AGREE!

Colorado and Washington states have already legalized cannabis for both recreational and medical use, but it is still a process carefully supervised and closely followed by other countries like Canada. Laws are a lot more severe than they are for cigarette trading. Here in Canada, any possession or trade of marijuana is illegal. However, marijuana should be legalized instead of cigarettes, and these should be banned from our markets.

The legalization of pot is a very controversial subject. The fact is that this drug has known effects on its users’ brain capacities of reaction and coordination that may represent a danger for other citizens. On the other hand, it is used as a cure for some troubles and diseases like glaucoma and its recreational use could also be considered as a stress reducer. There is no actual debate concerning the prohibition of cigarettes even if laws become stricter as we discover more about its effects on people, both smokers and non-smokers.

Cannabis, even when it is not smoked, increases the heartbeat and therefore blood pressure, a risk for people with heart disease. It also affects one’s capacity to react rapidly and reasonably. In some situations it can lead to fatal accidents. A study realized by the University of Colorado School of Medicine reveals that car accidents involving drivers having consumed marijuana significantly increased after its medicinal use was legalized in 2009 compared to 34 other states without the same laws. It is then relevant for Canadians to refuse allowing their compatriots to represent a public threat.

This fear of cannabis seems legitimate. However, this plant has less negative effects than the cigarette actually has on smokers. With all the studies made on the subject, the known relation between cigarette and higher risks of developing lung cancer should be a good reason enough to ban it from our stores. The Canadian Cancer Society explains that 85% of all lung cancer diagnoses are related to cigarette smoking and that it kills more than 250 non-smokers every year only in Canada. The number of deaths directly caused by this product should represent a significant reason to prohibit its trade and consumption.

None of these substances are fundamentally healthy, but if cannabis producers were as closely watched as hemp’s are now (hemp can be used to produce marijuana), the risks of overdoses and other harms to consumers would be decreased significantly. The current surveillance is very strict and it would be easy for our government to redirect it to cannabis plantations. Most importantly, it is necessary to rigorously monitor cannabis, just like society already does for cigarettes.

As a summary, marijuana has both positive and negative effects on people smoking it. The Canadian government ought to consider them before legalizing marijuana’s use. However, as we know that cigarette has no positive influence on our health and dreadful consequences on the life of everybody related to it, our society should favor the lesser evil. At least, it will be a more effective way to reduce our stress than by inhaling rocket fuel and any other poison hidden in cigarettes.

 

            

 

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