The Bill known as C-45 allows for the reformation of the controlled drugs and substance Act, and other Acts. The Act permits the use of cannabis as a recreational drug with 30g per individual, and four cannabis plants per residences. It also regulates the sales of the drug such as prohibition of selling cannabis to minors. The Act tries to reduce criminal activity by making it legal, protect public health by providing strict regulation to safety and quality of said drug, and take the financial burden off of the Canada justice system (Research Branch, 2003).
The debate on whether marijuana should be legalized in Canada has been thoroughly discussed. There are some people that believe it should be legal and others that say it should be illegal and criminalized. The problem is the increase rate of kids using marijuana as a recreational activity, obtaining it through illegal means, and the safety risk that arises from young adolescents taking the drug from an unregulated source. Some stats suggest that keeping it illegal does not reduces criminal activity involving the consumption of marijuana. In 2015, the number of minors aged 12 to 17 that were charged throughout Canada was 49,238 (Allen, Superle, 2016). Therefore expanding the bill to include ages under 18 could be taken into consideration. However there are many negative implications that will occur as a result of amending the bill to include minors such as health, moral, addition, and social concerns.
Therefore the government should not amend bill c-45 to allow minors to purchase and consume cannabis.2). There is serious concern in allowing youths to consume and purchase cannabis. First of all, there are many health risks associated with consumption of marijuana. Marijuana can impact a person’s attention, reflexes, reaction time, and ability to retrieve previous information. A research study conducted showed drivers that consumed alcohol and marijuana impaired their driving skills causing lane weaving (Lenné, Dietze, Triggs , Walmsley, Murphy, Redman, 2010). Even though in this case the alcohol most likely played a factor in the driver’s impairment, however even a small amount can have adverse effects to function properly.
Also a study showed that when drivers got serious injuries due to marijuana being present in their bloodstream they were found out to be responsible for the accidents (Wilson, Stimpson, Pagán, 2014). Another problem is addiction, which leads to trying other drugs to get a better high such as heroin, LSD,and cocaine, thus marijuana is a gateway drug. Furthermore addiction also affects one’s socioeconomic standing, such as education, employment, relationships, etc. An analysis report consisting of multiple studies found that cannabis users were more likely to not finish high school or get a degree compared to non users. In fact it showed that they have a higher prevalence of being dependant on other drugs and even attempting suicide (Silins, Horwood, Patton, Fergusson, Olsson, Hutchinson, Spry, Toumbourou, Degenhardt, Swift, Coffey, 2014).
3). The current policy approach where it legalizes cannabis for adult consumption has it’s benefits. For one, it allows the money that was used to enforce marijuana to be used elsewhere. Also more money can be made from the system through regulation of production and distribution of cannabis by imposing taxes (Hajizadeh, 2016). Because of a high demand for recreational use of cannabis it shows the potential to earn a lot of money, for example Colorado’s first few years of legalization have resulted in $1 billion from tax revenue alone (Hajizadeh, 2016). However the negative effects stated above outweigh the potential benefits and unlike adults the brains is still developing until the age of 20. Study show that persistent use of cannabis at a young age causes neuropsychological impairment, which can ultimately lead to an IQ drop (Meier, Caspi, Ambler, Harrington, Houts, Keefe, McDonald, Ward, Poulton, Moffitt, 2012).4).
It is highly recommended that the government of Canada not amend Bill C-45 to allow minors to consume and purchase cannabis. In fact another recommendation is to create a proper public health and education program for kids to provide awareness Reference: