LETTERS: Dangers of legalizing pot

Oh, the political perils of pot, let alone its health and safety implications

Oh, the political perils of pot, let alone its health and safety implications. All of those voters who went for Justin’s legal pot promise will have to remain underground for a while yet, but this won’t slow down the dedicated tokers one bit.

A recent Canadian Press article outlines some of the complications with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and other U.S. states. It isn’t as easy as it seems at first blush. It’s also worth re-checking what Health Canada says about the hazards of pot. No surprises there. It’s at least as dangerous as tobacco, which we have worked vigorously to suppress for the past 40 years, and considerably worse. Imagine what the government warning label might look like on a package of legal marijuana.

We may need to re-consider our signature on several major international drug control agreements including The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Drugs of 1971, and the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. These require signatories to limit and even prohibit the possession, use, trade and distribution of drugs outside of medical and scientific purposes. Backing away from these would seem at odds with the Liberal’s eagerness to sign on to some of the other UN agreements. But hey, most of these UN conventions are non-binding, aspirational declarations anyway. Sometimes it’s a sunny smile from world government, but sometimes it’s an angry frown. What to do?

The cynical among us might conclude that the whole marijuana thing was a throwaway election promise in the first place, maybe just a “smokescreen” to get the pot users vote. Recreational marijuana users already have pretty much what they want; good supply and quality, acceptable pricing, and virtually no-fault possession and use. All that’s missing is the blessing of big nanny government. There are expectations of huge tax revenues from this, but maybe not. The Colorado experience is showing that the net effect can be something of a disappointment. Economics 101 says that government enterprises are never profitable unless they enjoy a monopoly, and it’s unlikely they will ever quash the competition from “God’s little acre”.

Those who plan to roll their celebratory doobies with those yellow, full-page Conservative election ads from last week need to know that newsprint is full of harmful carcinogens. That darn Harper can still bite.

John Thompson, Kaleden


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