Let’s face it, society has gone to pot

In the 2015 federal election campaign, one of the big issues was the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.

Logical reasoning prompted me to write about the wisdom of passing this type of legislation; specifically, about protecting our children.

Another claim was made about the elimination of the black market. This one almost made me laugh out loud, because here is a feeble government declaring it is able to eradicate an illicit activity that has been several thousand years in the making. Did we honestly think that would happen?

At that time, I came up with the statement: if legalized, pot would go on the market for, say, $10 per ounce. The black marketers would just drop their price by a dollar and carry on.

An article in The Advocate on Dec. 27 caught my eye. The title, “California’s legal marijuana industry is stuck,” is proof of what I wrote about almost five years ago.

One paragraph said it all: “An advisory panel noted that California is expected to generate $3.1 billion in licensed pot sales, making it the world’s largest market. But nearly three times as much — $8.7 billion — is expected in unlicensed sales.”

So it is a foregone conclusion they will review the entire industry, as well as taking a second look at raising the proposed increase in taxes on it.

Here in Canada, we have just endorsed the sale of marijuana-infused edibles such as brownies and gummy bears, thereby protecting our children even more.

I hope my cynicism shows, because I believe we will experience an increase in the number of drug addicts as never before. I’m surprised in the face of all this evidence, people still express disagreement with what I have been saying.

At this time, we have had some juvenile deaths and many hospital admissions of children who have ingested pot-laced candy and cookies.

I feel we have been misled. How can we expect irresponsible folks to become responsible in how they handle these edibles by keeping them out of the reach of children?

From the street, we have seen how responsible drug addicts, alcoholics and even some casual users are.

Although I am dead set against the use of recreational pot, I realize some of the recent research into possible benefits of CBD and THC are valid, and with responsible use, can be an effective source of medicine for ailments.

No matter how many benefits we can contrive, however, most countries have opened up a Pandora’s Box of trouble that we will see the results of for many years to come.

Judging by the billions of dollars to be made, we probably won’t find a politician who will openly be critical of the industry.

I am constantly searching for the reason why. Why use drugs and alcohol? Why abuse children? The list of questions is endless, as is our reactions to them.

I wonder if facing the truth about ourselves can hurt just too much. I’ll have to look into that.

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident.

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