Scrolling through my facebook newsfeed as of late I can’t help but notice that many of my friends and acquaintances have posted something pertaining to my nation’s pending legalization of marijuana, and their opinion of the proposed laws that would be put in place to govern said legalization and distribution. The overall opinion has not been a highly favorable one. In a surprise twist of events, the outrage has not, as you would have believed, been coming from those opposed to the substance’s legalization, but from those in favour of it.
Having stumbled across some juicy conversation in regards to this very topic one day while idle mindedly scrolling through a friend’s page, I have since been keeping an eye out for and amusedly reading through posts on that very topic. As I mentioned, the outcry about the (pending) legalization laws, specifically as it pertains to my province, has come from those I know that are in favour of it – and recreational users. I have come across too many grievances they find with the laws to recount them all, but amongst the vast array of complaints:
- It’s going to be taxed and overpriced
- You will only be able to purchase it at government approved dispensaries
- The laws are too restrictive – you can’t smoke it in public, you can’t smoke it in your vehicle, you can’t smoke it in businesses/workplaces, you can’t smoke it in hotels, you can’t smoke it in nursing homes (unless they have a designated room)…
- Where are the homeless supposed to smoke it?
- People will be turning to edibles if they can’t legally smoke in public
- You can’t buy seeds
- Private entrepreneurs will not be able to sell it
- You’ll have to be of legal age
- You can’t operate under the influence of it
- There is still going to be a ‘black market’
- This is all those greedy Liberals fault – this would never have happened with (x) party here
- It may as well be illegal still
Now please keep in mind, these are nearly all recreational users as opposed to medicinal, and in Ontario, so I haven’t seen much regarding how it would impact (or not) those with prescriptions, consuming it for medical purposes, and for those outside of my home province, and therefore my comments and opinions are formed regarding only those (in my part of the country) with recreational use in mind, that somehow feel as if they are having their rights trampled by the pending legalization laws.
It’s going to be taxed and overpriced – Well, of course it is going to be overpriced, though word is that it will not be taxed. Alcohol and tobacco already are, and consumers happily pay for those, and (bonus) with the assurance it is clean and a certain quality standard is met. However, marijuana already is overpriced, as is anything that can only be procured through illegal channels. At the end of the day, for the recreational smoker it isn’t really a necessity, and is more of a ‘luxury’, product. And it will be legal.
You will only be able to purchase it at government approved dispensaries – See above. And let’s just hope the profit goes towards paying down debt and providing funding to services far above what they are currently getting. And it will be legal.
The laws are too restrictive – you can’t smoke it in public, you can’t smoke it in your vehicle, you can’t smoke it in businesses/workplaces, you can’t smoke it in hotels, you can’t smoke it in nursing homes (unless they have a designated room)… – We already have laws in place that restrict public intoxication, public consumption of alcohol, and laws and regulations that restrict tobacco and alcohol use in most places. This is no different. It is somewhat more restrictive than alcohol largely because unlike alcohol consumption bystanders cannot become affected simply by breathing in the same vicinity. It’s also considered bad form in most workplaces to be under the influence, no matter the legality of the substance. The laws are somewhat less restrictive than those that are currently in existence for tobacco, as marijuana has been proven to have medicinal benefit to those that require it, and we can all agree that cigarette/cigar smoke has none. At the end of the day, alcohol can be consumed in many designated places, at home, and not out and about in public. Tobacco can be smoked in very few designated and public places, and at home. Marijuana use will be limited to designated areas and at home. At the end of the day, marijuana was illegal to use anywhere, but now it will be legal to use – just not everywhere.
Where are the homeless supposed to smoke it? – Marijuana laws will be no different than those we already have in effect for alcohol as it pertains to public use. Except now the homeless will be able to possess it, and will I assume be able to access areas designated for use if it is a medicinal need… and while the homeless are able to attend establishments that serve alcohol, this is still far less restrictive than most liquor laws in place. And it will be legal.
**Side note: For those that would make any disgusted remarks (such as some comments that I have read online) because they might think the homeless should not have to worry about it because they shouldn’t have money for that kind of thing anyhow, marijuana is a hell of a lot easier to come by and far less costly than housing. If someone through great misfortune was out on the street and came across $3 and change a day, and spent the equivalent of $100 a month on marijuana, even if they had saved that money instead, at the end of the year it would amount to solely $1200. With the average cost of shelter/utilities starting about that much per month in my area, if that $100 made it easier for that person to get through a month on the street, then I’m not going to criticize. $100 a month would not even be enough to feed a person (especially with no proper food containment facilities) for a month in my area at least, though I would think it would not anywhere.
People will be turning to edibles if they can’t legally smoke in public – People already cannot smoke in public. If legal, people may un/intentionally ‘hotbox’ others in the vicinity. It was further mentioned that people would be on the search for a ‘stronger and sneakier buzz’. People already turn to edibles to get a stronger high and to get around public usage laws. Unless a medical requirement, legalization of a substance is not obligation (to utilize that substance). This whole argument is ridiculous. It’s still going to be legal.
You can’t buy seeds – Unless you have medical license to do so, you already cannot grow your own plants. Recreational users will now be able to procure the actual product, whereas before they could not. Because it will be legal.
Private entrepreneurs will not be able to sell it – Private citizens cannot also produce and trade in alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana will be no different. Considering it is a substance with intoxicating effects, not a necessary commodity (for those that use it recreationally), and has been proven harmful to children whose brains are still under development, this is to be expected. Yes, the government is trying to get its cut of the profits, but they are also ensuring a clean and (minimum) quality product (which is so important now with lacing of fentanyl and other dirty drugs being on the rise). Controlling a substance also helps to ensure more moderate and responsible use. I do think it was shabby to close up thousands of existing businesses without at least giving them the option of becoming government approved dispensaries (I have not heard otherwise), and wish that the loss of employment/enterprise for many was more the focus of the public outrage over the matter – but it’s sadly not. But, you will be able to finally buy it. It will be legal.
You’ll have to be of legal age to purchase and use it – Minors with prescriptions will still be able to legally use it, but at the end of the day it is an intoxicant, and one that has shown to have potentially undesirable consequences on a developing brain. But for those of you who are of age, it’s going to be legal.
You can’t operate under the influence of it – Anyone who has ever used it in any form can agree it causes impairment. Developing a tolerance for it is no different than a person developing a tolerance for alcohol. It does not mean you are not still impaired. It’s still going to be legal.
There is still going to be a ‘black market’ – Yes there will be. Wherever a law is in place, no matter what it is, there is illegal enterprise/action. (Groan, not again) the same as with illegal production/distribution of alcohol and tobacco. Drug dealers will still continue to peddle it illegally, just as they have previously peddled it illegally. But you now have other options for which to procure it besides ‘dealers’. I think more people will prefer to choose those other options than many currently assume. Because it will be legal.
This is all those greedy Liberals fault – this would never have happened with (x) party here – That’s right. If not for the greedy Liberals in power, it would not be legal period and the Conservatives would still be making sentences for its purchase/use/possession/distribution stricter. It will actually be legal.
It may as well be illegal still – Purchase, possession, consumption was illegal, but now will no longer be. The legalization laws gave an inch, and now people are disappointed they aren’t getting the full mile. I would have thought more people would have been happier about the fact that, you know, it’s going to be legal.
That is what I want to say to all of those (again, recreational) users out there posting complaint after complaint in regards to the new (and as of yet, not even put into place) legalization laws – bearing in mind, at the end of the day, it’s just this one girl’s opinion on the matter, and if I have interpreted anything incorrectly, then I happily invite correction on the matter – remembering I’m replying to the complaints by recreational users only. I can only hope that the proposed new legislation does not somehow curb current prescription user’s rights along with the legalization.
In conclusion, everyone has their own opinion on the matter, many just like to complain, and nothing I say will change anyone else’s opinion on it. It just seems incredible to me that in a population that in large part supports stricter control over and more restriction with regards to alcohol and tobacco, that rely on the government to even place their approval of safety on their hygiene and food products, people are acting surprised and dismayed that the government is taking carriage of this, and thought they were gaining the right to purchase weed on any street corner and blaze up anywhere and everywhere. A battle was won – millions voted against legalization and would happily have gone on seeing the casual rec user still criminalized because of it. So I’m just going to kick back and return to amusedly watching the tantrums on my newsfeed from all of the children who finally got their sundae, minus the sprinkles.