By: Niamh Cosgrove
Is the legalization of recreational marijuana use safer for society? That is a question that is greatly discussed amongst countries and provinces around the world. In my podcast, I will be discussing all the reasons why this is indeed a positive thing rather than a negative one in any society. There are places such as the UK whose officials will not even discuss the legalization of this substance and places like the Netherlands who are very lenient when it comes to possessing it. Although I will be keeping most of my focus on the government and society of Canada, I will also be addressing the laws and views of other countries here and there since this is a widely controversial topic. As many are aware, this is completely relevant at the moment especially because the legislation to legalize and regulate recreational use of marijuana is set to take place in July of 2018 here in Canada. However, although this is being passed, there are still many people who are against it. The fears that are held by these people include: employees coming into work impaired, the dangers around children and youth accessing it and the safety of the public in general. With constant reference to an opinion piece by Jeffrey Miron in the CNN, I will be tackling all of these fears and giving my opinion as to why this legislation will be a beneficial turn instead of critical one. Miron's article strongly states his beliefs as to why the legalization of pot is a good thing rather than a bad one. Within this argument, he also backs up his ideas with factual evidence and statistics. He begins by outlining the fact that marijuana is not more nor less harmful than other legal substances such as; alcohol and tobacco, as well as, excessive eating or even something as simple as just driving a car. However, the difference is; those four things are legal whereas marijuana still is not in many places. Miron then goes onto discuss the result of marijuana use, crime, traffic accidents, education and health outcomes in places that have already legalized the drug. Furthermore, the article also lays out the positive effects the legalization will have on taxes, medical resources and the decrease of repercussions as a result of the ban. Alongside this article, I will also reference many other articles and government documents as well as facts and statistics taken from other countries who have already legalized it. Also, I will be carefully highlighting all the plans that the government has in order to keep our society as safe as possible. These plans include: minimizing harms of use, establishing a safe and responsible production system, designing an appropriate distribution system, enforcing public safety and protection and finally, accessing marijuana for medical purposes. Moreover, I would also like to address that this change is going to affect many people, not just the population of those who use this drug. This is going to help erase unnecessary criminal records, keep youth from accessing it, advance the economy and tax revenue and build more opportunities through jobs in marijuana nurseries and dispensaries. Therefore, it can and will affect many different people of different ages. I hope you will tune into my podcast on this controversial topic to hear my full argument as to why this is going to benefit our Canadian society and why it could also potentially benefit other countries around the world.