Editorial: Legal cannabis is not for the young

Protecting the most impressionable a big issue

The campaign toward legalizing cannabis in Canada has been mainly about stopping the black market and generating billions of dollars for the federal government through suddenly law-abiding users.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has casually mentioned young people and how we’re going to protect them from being exposed to it at any early age and all sorts of other rhetoric. Well, that’s where Trudeau is wrong.

Our young people are the least likely to be able to figure out what all this legalization means and their increased exposure to marijuana is just naturally going to be an offshoot of the process.

It’s still illegal for under 19, like alcohol, but some of their brains don’t process that.

There were reports just last week in Crofton that three young girls in the 14- to 16-year-old range were smoking a giant bong in one of the dugouts at the Crofton ball field.

Part of the dugout is obscure, but North Cowichan is going to fix that and open it up. Nonetheless, the girls were more or less in plain sight of many residents and seemed rather nonchalant about it.

Fortunately, the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP was called, police attended and the girls were issued tickets.

They might as well learn now this is wrong, even if in their little minds they probably thought it was all right because it’s now legal and that changes everything.

Our young people are the most vulnerable with cannabis use and their developing brains can be adversely affected.

But, in good old Justin’s world, this somehow isn’t going to happen. As if by magic, the young are going to be completely shielded from marijuana and its byproducts without incident.

It’s obviously been a long time since Trudeau was a teenager if he can’t comprehend their thinking.

We are going to be hearing many stories in the months and years ahead about this decision to legalize marijuana. Everyone in favour has been accentuating only the perceived positive aspects, but there are far more negatives.

The biggest positive might be a change in voter viewpoints at the polls next year, leading to new federal leadership.

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