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Issues related to legalization of marijuana

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Taber Times

Center for Disease Control Statistics on Impaired Driving: Get the Facts indicate that “Marijuana use is increasing and 13 per cent of nighttime/weekend drivers have marijuana in their system” and that “Marijuana users were about 25 per cent more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use!”

Assuming that Canada’s population is about 10 per cent that of the US, it seems safe to assume that the same ratios would prevail here.

While it’s admirable that governments are intending to lower the DUI number to .05 in an effort to reduce impaired driving and the horrific casualty & death rates that accompany alcohol impaired driving, it seems counter-productive that we are legalizing the sale of “Mary Jane.”

A 2017 study by the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia found that “Those who used marijuana were 26 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who did not use marijuana. Those studied were also more likely to have developed heart failure”
I think that it’s safe to assume that the above numbers would result in an increased number of “Medical Emergencies” especially during night time and weekend hours.

While our federal government touts legalization as a way of taking distribution out of the hands of criminal groups which is a laudable objective, I believe that more moneys must be made available for conclusive testing of individuals suspected of drug influenced driving and a followup program of education aimed at prevention and rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
I, for one, will continue to avoid driving at night and on weekend (especially long holiday weekends) wherever possible. To those who seek the “high” that THC produces, try listening to the closing notes in “O Canada, WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE!” Your brain will release the dopamines and endorphins which produce a natural high without the detrimental effects of marijuana.


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