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Medical journal condemns Canada’s plan to legalize Marijuana in 2018

Marijuana being illegally grown in North Cascades National Park in the US. Credit: Park Ranger/Flickr/Creative Commons

Marijuana being illegally grown in North Cascades National Park in the US. Credit: Park Ranger/Flickr/Creative Commons

As the Canadian government pushes ahead to legalize Marijuana, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) published an editorial condemning the proposed legislation. The Liberal government plans to legalize Marijuana by June 2018, fulfilling a campaign promise.

According to Global News that reported on the CMAJ editorial, the legislation in its current form would:

  • Legalize the recreational use of the drug for anyone 18 years of age and older.
  • Allow Marijuana to be grown at home for personal use, but would limit the number of plants to four and height to under one meter.
  • Not control the potency of Marijuana.

CMAJ is concerned because several studies show that Marijuana usage can have a profound impact on the developing brain of a young person.

In its editorial, the publication stated since a person’s brain is not fully developed until 25, legalizing the drug before that age could potentially have a devastating impact.

Recently, several studies have shown that regular marijuana usage can distort and shrink the developing brain of a teen. It can result in increased rates of mental disorders, including delusional episodes. It can also impact a young person socially and mentally. This includes reduced intelligence and significantly higher rate of school drop outs.

The legislation is also sending another concerning message. CMAJ’s Editor in Chief Diane Kelsall wrote:

“Obviously one of the points of the legislation is to try and keep kids away from entering the criminal justice system. But there’s a certain message that comes across when you say something is legal. If you say that it’s fine at the age of 18, you’re sending a message that it’s OK. And we know it’s not OK.”

I have similarly mentioned in earlier posts, one of my biggest concerns is the messaging activists use pushing for the legalization of Marijuana. By claiming it is “safe,” they are developing the perception that teens can use it with minimal impact.

Kelsall added:

“I’m very concerned about what marijuana can do. As a physician, both personally and professionally, I’ve seen lives completely derailed by marijuana use. Teens getting a hold of it, becoming dependent, gateways to other drugs.”

Over the past several years, growers have rapidly increased the potency of Marijuana. Recently, I stumbled upon an article of the the impact “skunk,” a potent strain of Marijuana, had on one teen boy in England.

In an interview with BBC, the father said his son started using “skunk” at 16.  The unnamed man described what happened next:

“He [son] became delusional. He used to sleep with a tennis racket in his bed because he thought people were living in the walls…

“He basically had a psychotic episode and did huge amounts of harm to both himself and his mother. And as a result of that he was put in a mental institute for assessment for a five-, six-month period.”

During the psychotic episode, the teen attacked his mother with a knife and then cut off his penis. The father added, that his boy still can’t remember what happened and maybe that is a good thing. The boy is slowly recovering.

So why would politicians and bureaucrats want to legalize marijuana? Maybe this is the reason: Cannabis legalization in UK ‘would raise £1bn a year in taxes.


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