THE EDITOR: Legitimising marijuana is being approached as a way of clearing up the backlog in the courts, ie, a legislative agenda, and as a way of harnessing economic opportunities, ie, exploiting medicinal properties.
The protagonists of both these approaches seem anxious to move from decriminalisation to legalisation with great haste. The State seems to be taking a totally reactionary position, playing the game of catch up with the rest of the world.
However, to my mind two basic first-order questions must be considered. These questions have to be faced by teachers, health professionals, sporting bodies, employers, and responsible parents.
The first is: Is it healthy to put smoke of any kind into your lungs? This goes for tobacco, vaping and marijuana. The second question is a moral as well as a health-related one: Is it good to use drugs that have the power to induce pleasant psychotic states?
I suggest that the answer to both questions is no. And that goes for tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.
Kudos to Hanif Benjamin, head of the Children’s Authority, who asked the big question recently: How do we protect children from smoking marijuana? Even when smoked in the privacy of one’s home, children can be exposed to the smoke and damage can be done to young brains.
The health agenda and the moral agenda must precede and condition the legislative and economic agendas. To simply proceed with the debate confined mainly to these two latter agendas seems to suggest that those are the key issues and consequently the road is clear for the promotion, sale and use of marijuana.