When they bring home their beautiful new baby, most parents envision a perfect future where their children remain healthy, wholesome and drug-free.
But the reality of the world in which today’s children grow up is anything but drug-free.
- 44% of all Canadians say they have used marijuana, the most commonly used illegal drug in Canada, at least once in their lifetime.
- 31% of Ontario students in grades 7 to 12 say they have tried pot at least once in their lives and 26.5% say they have used it in the past year.
- 12% of students who use marijuana, or about 3% of all grade 7 to 12 students, use pot daily
There’s a good chance that your beautiful, innocent baby, toddler, or child you’re sending off to kindergarten, will encounter pot, or worse, before he or she gets to high school.
Parents can try to protect their children from perceived dangers by supporting pot laws.
But, considering that marijuana has been illegal in Canada since 1923 and, over 90 years later, almost half of all Canadians have tried it, that doesn’t seem to work.
Pot isn’t going away. And that’s one of the main reasons that parents should consider supporting its legalization. But it’s not the only one.
1. The Criminalization of Youth
While pot possession and use is still criminal, young people are at risk of spending a lifetime with a criminal record that handcuffs their job, education and travel opportunities; only because they were caught with marijuana. Do they really deserve the same fate as thieves, fraudsters and violent offenders?
2. Health Risks
Pot is uncontrolled while it is illegal. No one knows what’s been added to the joint they’re smoking to increase its potency – and market value. Legalization will lead to stricter guidelines and supervision of what goes into marijuana.
3. Lack of Treatment Staff & Facilities
While you can get government support for alcohol and tobacco abuse, very little support or treatment facilities exist for pot users. Legalizing it increases the potential for healthcare specific to pot.
4. Enforcement Costs
While legalization doesn’t eliminate enforcement costs, it reduces them and will ease the pressure it puts on an already overcrowded court system.
5. Ease of Access
It’s easier in most cases for young people to get pot than it is for them to get alcohol. They don’t need ID to get pot. Legalization will help us keep marijuana out of the reach of young users.
Any responsibility for personal habits, health and wellbeing that parents hope their children will have begins at home. Clearly, the law doesn’t prevent pot use. Countless public opinion polls show that more than 50% of Canadians support legalization. Even the “tough on crime” federal Conservatives have decriminalization legislation in the works. It’s best that we face the issue and its consequences instead of clinging to the false hope that making it illegal will make it go away.
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