Some Central Albertans mixed on recreational cannabis legalization

Central Albertans have mixed opinions on whether recreational cannabis use is a good thing, just days before it becomes legal in Canada.

Danny Tomalty, of Red Deer County, said he isn’t completely sold on the idea.

“There might be some problems that could come from it,” he said. “I’m worried there could be the same types of problems that can come from alcohol, like impaired driving and that kind of thing.”

Tomalty said he doesn’t believe legalizing cannabis will have a direct impact on his life.

“I can see it affecting youth,” he said. “I know it’s supposed to make people less likely to use illegal drugs, but I don’t know how effective it will be.”

Yvonne Nicoll, of Red Deer, said there are positives to making cannabis legal.

“You hear about fentanyl and other drugs that could be laced in with other things, so if cannabis is legal, at least it will be clean for the people using it.

“I think legalizing cannabis is a decent idea, as long as you can keep it out of the hands of kids,” she said.

Nicoll said she doesn’t expect her day-to-day life to change with cannabis becoming legal. But she said there are many who it can help, such as people with undiagnosed anxiety.

Mark Butler, of Stettler, said he’s disappointed by the government’s decision to make cannabis legal.

“I’ve seen different people negatively affected by it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a positive thing to legalize it, personally.”

Taylor Elliott, a student at Red Deer College, who is originally from Stettler, said he’s happy people can use cannabis recreationally.

“I think it’s going to be more convenient for people,” he said. “It gives more options for somebody who already smokes because there will be more variety and edibles available.”

Elliott said he has smoked cannabis on and off for a while.

“Overall, it’s going to reduce the stigma and the anti-cannabis culture that’s out there.

“It’s going to bring in revenue for the government, which could go into paying off the debt or building more schools,” he said.

Recreational cannabis use becomes legal Wednesday.

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Danny Tomalty, of Red Deer County, said legalizing recreational cannabis could create some problems. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Taylor Elliott, a student at Red Deer College, originally from Stettler, said legalizing recreational cannabis will make things more convenient for people who already smoke. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

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