EDITORIAL: We are all suffering from legalized pot

EDITORIAL: We are all suffering from legalized pot

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Since marijuana was legalized by our forward-thinking prime minister, we can now enjoy the foul aroma of cannabis in many neighbourhoods and on many street corners.

The smell, akin to skunk squirt, can ruin a nice walk after a fine dinner of roast beef, potatoes and asparagus. (I guess we have to hold our breath until we get to the next block.)

There’s no argument that medicinal marijuana is necessary for many people battling a variety of ills, but recreational marijuana is not necessary. Sure, it relaxes you and takes away the stress, but it has several short-term and long-term effects.

Cannabis can impair your concentration, memory and decision-making, impacting how you perform on the job or at school. And driving.

Cannabis smoke also contains many of the same harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke, so you aren’t doing your lungs a favour thinking marijuana is healthier.

The big concern is the effect that cannabis has on young people. Those who consume frequently and over a long period of time risk mental health problems that may never go away. Depression also comes with the territory.

The number of teens who use cannabis on a regular basis is staggering. What does your son or daughter do when they hang out with their friends. Often you will see a snapchat photo of a group of teens sitting in a circle with a bong in the middle. It’s scary, and parents need to intervene before it’s too late.

It’s naïve to think the new marijuana laws are keeping cannabis out of the hands of our children because they seem to have easy access to it.

Not only are we smelling it more often, we have to wonder how many more people (and youth) are becoming addicted to marijuana, thanks to our forward-thinking government.

Legalizing recreational marijuana was a big mistake, and we are all going to suffer for it.

By Lyonel Doherty

21 COMMENTS

  1. “Cannabis can impair your concentration, memory and decision-making, impacting how you perform on the job or at school. And driving.”

    A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice

    Andras Bilkei-Gorzo, Onder Albayram, Astrid Draffehn, Kerstin Michel, Anastasia Piyanova, Hannah Oppenheimer, Mona Dvir-Ginzberg, Ildiko Rácz, Thomas Ulas, Sophie Imbeault, Itai Bab, Joachim L Schultze & Andreas Zimmer

    Nature Medicine volume 23, pages 782–787 (2017)

    THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months.

  2. Adolescent cannabis use and brain systems supporting adult working memory encoding, maintenance, and retrieval

    BrendenTervo-Clemmensa Daniel Simmonds Finnegan J. Calabrode Nancy L.Dayd Gale A.Richardsond Beatriz Luna

    Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, United States
    Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Pittsburgh, United States
    Center for Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, United States
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, United States
    Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, United States

    However, cannabis age of onset brain-behavior associations did not differ between groups with a single reported use and those with repeated use, suggesting age of onset effects may reflect substance use risk characteristics rather than a developmentally-timed cannabis exposure effect. Within repeated cannabis users, greater levels of total cannabis use were associated with performance-related increases in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activation during maintenance. This pattern of significant results remained unchanged with inclusion of demographic and prenatal measures as covariates. Surprisingly, however, at the group level, cannabis users generally performed better than participants who reported never using cannabis (faster RT, higher accuracy).

  3. Harm Reduct J. 2005
    Published online 2005 Oct 18.
    PMCID: PMC1277837
    Cannabis and tobacco smoke are not equally carcinogenic
    Robert Melamede

    Cannabis smoke contains cannabinoids whereas tobacco smoke contains nicotine. Available scientific data, that examines the carcinogenic properties of inhaling smoke and its biological consequences, suggests reasons why tobacco smoke, but not cannabis smoke, may result in lung cancer.

  4. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Mar; 2(3): e94.
    Published online 2012 Mar 20. doi: 10.1038/tp.2012.15
    PMCID: PMC3316151
    PMID: 22832859
    Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia

    ———————
    The results suggest that inhibition of anandamide deactivation may contribute to the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol potentially representing a completely new mechanism in the treatment of schizophrenia.
    ———————

  5. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Jun; 95(4): 434–442.
    Published online 2010 Mar 21. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.03.004
    PMCID: PMC2866040
    NIHMSID: NIHMS196582
    PMID: 20332000
    Antidepressant-like effect of ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L

    Results of this study show that ?9-THC and other cannabinoids exert antidepressant-like actions, and thus may contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.

  6. My question is will the moderators post my comments that clearly use valid scientific information to dispel virtually every bit of ‘reefer madness’ misinformation contained in this opinion piece?

  7. What a stupid editorial, sorry to be blunt but really…

    So it’s better to have this huge commercial trade run by organised crime? It’s better for everyone if cannabis use is driven underground where we have no chance to intervene to reduce harm? And it’s a good idea to treat the people you’re concerned about as criminals?

    Cannabis isn’t harmless, of course not, nothing on earth is. But the way you increase the potential for harm as much as possible is to criminalze it all. And don’t forget Canada had just about the highest levels of use pre-legalization, all totally uncontrolled and unregulated.

    Finally, complaining about the smell is pretty petty, especially if you drive and fill the air with truly harmful exhaust fumes

  8. Re: EDITORIAL: We are all suffering from legalized pot, May 24, 2019
    Reefer Madness Redux
    Today, thanks to our forward-thinking prime minister, some cannabis is legal in CANADA. Canadians are now (sort of) free to enjoy the earthy robustness of quality cannabis wafting throughout neighborhoods right across CANADA. That’s not to say that there was any shortage in the ‘wafting-throughout-neighborhoods’ department right across CANADA well before legalization, though. In fact, one was liable to discover the season-applicable earthy robustness of quality cannabis wafting about on a casual stroll on any given evening throughout neighborhoods right across CANADA, 50 years prior to legalization!
    In 1965 there were 42 possession offenses for cannabis in CANADA. By 1972 that number increased to 10,695 possession offenses and in 2017 there were 38,498 cannabis possession offenses in CANADA. Nowhere during that corresponding time span is there evidence of widespread cannabis-related mental health issues, job performance issues, academic performance issues, or cannabis-related driving issues cropping up proportionately in spite of increases in both potency and forms of consumption. The same can’t be said of alcohol, pharmaceuticals, or tobacco, assuming parliament is even paying attention – so where’s the outrage over that!
    Our forward-thinking prime minister knew CANADA could not arrest its way toward drug law compliance, so he and his government created groundbreaking rules – the CANNABIS ACT – with 45 new (yet questionable) offenses around a legitimized (yet questionable) regime of cannabis production, supply, and delivery. Then there is Bill-46 to consider. Perhaps the Senate was sampling our Government’s wares a tad too frequently, or they, too, were hedging their options when they should have been fixing the constitutionally flawed, medical cannabis program.
    Either way, the “EDITORIAL: We are all suffering from legalized pot’ missed the mark. It’s not “legalized pot” messing with the minds and routines of youth that should be the concern. Rather it is the deluge of legal entanglement (including forfeiture) affecting youth and parents alike that the CANNABIS ACT engages in at the expense of the community at large that should be the concern.

    Wayne Phillips,
    Hamilton, ON

  9. I have not smelled cannabis burning once since it was legalized. I have not seen one teenager smoking it nor have I seen any Instagram photos of teens and bongs.
    If anything I have not heard a peep about any cannabis related news except the opening of new retail businesses. Which I applaud because I like new jobs being created.
    If you are smelling it regularly then perhaps it’s your neighbors and you should ask them to close their windows if it bothers you so much.

  10. If that were truly the case then alcohol and tobacco, along with several medications are are just as bad then right? Or perhaps the real complaint is you and perhaps others I the community simply dont like the smell?? Ultimately everything has side effect both long term and short term…. Everything…even going to work at a high stress job. Seriously people need to stop being so damned opinionated and figuring that cus you disagree, that nobody else should either!

  11. Lyonel, please tell me this is satire, like “The Onion” news. If not, you are incredibly misinformed on many fronts.

    • Mike, if your family was being torn apart by marijuana, I’m quite certain you would rethink the matter.

  12. I’m 68, and have smoked pot everyday since 1967. What you say is preposterous. The smell of alcohol is a much bigger problem. Wake up!

  13. You could have not voiced this any better… I totally agree with you. Perhaps, those families with drug addicted family members, should be sending their therapy bills from their psychiatrists post diagnosis of depression, schizophrenia etc, to the Prime Minister’s Office. Thankfully none of my friends smoke anything, let alone drugs around me,and even when I host a party, I make it 100% clear that no ‘recreational’ drugs are welcome on my private property. I do not even support cigarette or vaper smoking.. having been a nurse and seeing the damaging results of regular smoking and having several relatives including my grandfather die as a result of lung cancer, post smoking, I cannot even begin to understand why ANYONE would want to damage their lungs…smoking anything, in my view, is signing your death certificate, slowly & deliberately killing yourself, 1 puff at a time.

    • When the effects of marijuana hits close to home and you see how it starts to ruin families, like your own, then you might think differently.

  14. Its is an interesting subject to be certain. I walk all over Oliver weekly in the course of my job and I have to say i smell it less and less then I even did pre legalization. Maybe that is just blind luck on my part? As it becomes more prevalent, I see it moving vastly away from smoking and far more into the edibles side. The reason for this being that as an additive to foods and other products the quality, amount, and consistency can be easier to address. You can more accurately tell people what amount is in something. For those that enjoy smoking it that will never change, over time I think we will see a significant decline in cannabis smoking. I personally see very little of it in my day to day activities and when do is easy enough to get away from.

    “cannabis can impair your concentration, memory and decision-making, impacting how you perform on the job or at school.” The same can be said to just about anything from coffee, medication, alcohol, not enough sleep, and any number of other environmental factors that influence us. That just to vague of a statement to distinguish it from any of the above listed in regards to this particular statement.

    “Those who consume frequently and over a long period of time risk mental health problems that may never go away. Depression also comes with the territory.” From what I have read those who smoke cannabis and have had mental health issues have pre-existing risk factors already. If you want to talk depression, alcohol is a proven mood depressant that so far out stripes cannabis use for depressive episodes, behaviors, and mental health issues. The strongest evidence to date only links depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia with those who already have a family history of those, use other drugs in addition to cannabis, have some other types of risk factors that go into this. How many fatal accidents happen as a result of alcohol vs cannabis? How many suicides are done via alcohol vs cannabis? How many motor vehicle accidents happen as a result of alcohol impairment vs cannabis?

    Just like now we have teens smoking in high school we will have teens smoking cannabis in school as well. Its been happening for decades and will continue to happen regardless long after we are gone. Addictions come is every form and in every way, from shopping, video games, work, and anything else that puts ones day to day life at risk of being consumed by it.

    The new laws are not meant to be the sole barrier to kids getting access to it. That comes from the home and how the interaction happens. Just like with anything else if kids want it they will find a way to get it. No parents, law, or anything will stop someone from getting access to it. If you think that keeping cannabis illegal was protecting the youth, then you clearly were born an adult and did not have a childhood. All this has done it move it from out sight outta mind to in plain view.

  15. Hi lionel,
    Your opinion is ignorant and you should be truly ashamed of it. Not one state that has legalized has seen an increase in pot use among teens, nor has research indicated that either.

    Sorry that you’re so ignorant that you would actually prefer people to be arrested and jailed for its use because you smell it from time to time.

    • I have seen, too close for comfort, what marijuana is doing to our youth, so I stand behind my opinion.

  16. I am not a pot smoker. But your article is very biased. I have not once smelled pot. Someone smoking outside of a doorway disgusts me. The laws stopping it are a joke. I think we are so much better now that it’s legalized. I heard it is possible to get an opioid addict off of it using pot therapy. Maybe it will help my addicted son.

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