I deliberately avoid political or controversial discussion online. It never seemed appropriate to me to argue a position without face-to-face interaction. I have opinions of course, and am old enough that some have even changed over time. So today, online, I break my rule and will post an opinion.
Tomorrow, in Canada, throughout the country, cannabis (marijuana, pot, weed, whatever the latest nomenclature is) will be legal to own, grow, purchase, and consume. I lament. This makes me feel old – because I can remember when, at about 16 years of age in the mid-1970s, I had the following argument with my mother:
“Why shouldn’t marijuana be legal, mom? You smoke. Alcohol is a drug, too, more dangerous than pot.”
And her answer, which didn’t sway me at the time, but somehow, somewhere along the way over the years, has become my opinion also:
“Well, why add another bad thing, then?”
Don’t get me wrong. Like everyone else, I like some bad things in moderation. I drink. I gamble at government-run casinos. I see an argument for legalized prostitution. So really, adding another bad thing like drugs won’t change my life – I never was a smoker and am comfortable enough at my age to stick to my drug of choice (alcohol) for “highs” to enjoy.
I realize that this legalization of marijuana bothers me for a reason other than allowing recreational use of another bad thing. I feel cheated. Throughout my formative years, and those of my own children, we were bombarded with the “drugs bad” message, and how they would ruin your life. All true for some people, as with alcohol, for sure. But now, with little scientific evidence – no lung cancer statistics yet, for example – marijuana is legalized. Perhaps over time there will be evidence that this new bad thing can be, like alcohol, a controlled vice with risks that consumers can judge, as adults, for themselves. But until then, I lament.