When I get up tomorrow, Wednesday morning, October 17th, recreational cannabis use will be legal throughout Canada. Curiously two days earlier on Monday, October 15th, the Canadian Medical Association Journal decided to play Cassandra warning in an editorial that marijuana’s legalization is nothing less than “a national, uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.”
Health Canada estimates we can expect that recreational cannabis use will cause problems for “nearly 1 in 3 adult users and an addiction in close to 1 in 10, with higher risks in youth.” Researchers all know that there are “many unanswered questions about the consequences that will arise from the short-term and long-term use of cannabis” (see CMAJ, editorial, accessed May 15, 2018, http://www.cmaj.ca/content/190/41/E1218
In a classic case of hypocritical “double-speak” P.M. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals justified their legalization of recreational cannabis because they believed it would “protect public health and safety, by keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and enhancing public awareness of health risks associated with cannabis use.” (Language from Bill C-45). I’m not sure how removing any sort of stigma from using this drug would make youth less inclined to use it. The plain truth of the matter is that the Federal Liberal Party of Canada felt during the last election that a promise to legalize cannabis use would help propel them into power since about 1 in 7 Canadians (almost 5 million) were already using the drug.
So is this “uncontrolled national experiment” really in the best interests of the Canadian people? Just because the government makes something “legal” doesn’t mean it’s good for you—or righteous, moral, or even just plain healthful! Tobacco smoking, gambling, abortion, and assisted suicide are cases in point. Governments do what they think is in their best interests—not yours! Perhaps we all should reflect on this Proverb from the Bible before allowing ourselves to take advantage of some governmentally legalized, but perhaps personally harmful scheme:
“Wisdom rests [silently] in the heart of one who has understanding, But what is in the heart of [shortsighted] fools is made known. Righteousness [moral and spiritual integrity and virtuous character] exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:33-34 Amplified Bible)