Legalization of pot shouldn’t have been a priority

“It will harm you, introduce all different kinds of maladies, change your neurological makeup, not to mention skewing your thought processes; but we will legalize your product and govern its distribution; for a slight charge of course.”

Front page news: Second pot (sorry, cannabis) store to open in Red Deer with a potential for eight more retail licences in the near future, as soon as the growers produce sufficient quantities to sustain that many operations.

As with milk and eggs, how long will it be before a quota system is imposed? Will the taxes collected from the sale of this drug be sufficient to pay for the new government department that was created to manage it?

Along with other snake-oil remedies, what would be the benefits of this drug, other than just another way to get stoned?

Did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau envision the overwhelming priority that the entire country would create for the implementation of this mind-altering drug?

I find this whole issue raises more and more questions every day; the most important one being, are we so disillusioned with life that our priority is now to make life rosier than it is?

While working at the kitchen, more than once during discussions with these folks about the legalizing of pot, the statement was put forward that a grave mistake was being made.

One lady, in particular, now free of street drugs, made the statement that if legalized, pot would end up killing many people through accidents and poor choices, which will lead to increased violence.

Hers is one voice I listened to over all the promoters, because she had first-hand knowledge and experience. Time alone will tell if her words were prophetic or not.

One fellow, no longer in town, who had been on the streets for 18 years, was totally addicted to pot and beer. Try as he might, the battle to distance himself from this problem failed time after time.

He admitted that pot made him stupid, clouding his judgments and decision making. I just hope and pray that he was successful in his attempt to quit.

Impaired judgments and radical behaviours aside, without any solid scientific evidence that there are many benefits, why are we making the growing, distribution and consumption of marijuana such a priority in our lives? Just money?

It could be that by setting this as a priority, we are able to take our hearts and minds away from the news of the terrible plight of millions of refugees, or the number of families torn apart as a result of personal desires for more drugs.

Although the news is full of stories of children being lured away from a normal life, what I don’t see is a priority to put safeguards in place to insure against these devastating events in our society.

Already, in hindsight, we can see that many of our decisions to make some things a priority were done without foresight as to the consequences.

Take gambling, for instance. Once illegal, the priority to legalize it resulted in tremendous national revenues. This decision was made without thought to the increasing number of addicts. Very little of the money generated goes to the remedy — if there is one.

Now, with the legalization of pot and soon-to-be other harmful drugs, decisions are being made without due thought to the consequences, despite the empty assurances to the contrary.

As long as our desires are met, harmful or not, consequences are set aside. We’ll deal with those another time. History alone, though, tells us that they will come back to bite us.

Being able to prioritize many parts of our lives is a privilege to utilize, but it should never be done without carefully examining the consequences we already know are attached.

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

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