Trudeau’s Liberals have been rushing their campaign promise to legalize marihuana in Canada while medical professionals, provinces, municipalities, Canada’s policing community and the Conservative Opposition have raised serious concerns on the timeline and the impacts. This week the Liberal government released an online consultation about their new regulations. They are repeating many of the mistakes recently highlighted as problems in Colorado.
The Colorado Spring Gazette reported that after five years of legalized marihuana the negative community and youth impacts have been significant and problematic. High school drug violations were up 71% along with an increase in school suspensions. Grade school children, kids aged 5-13, saw drug violations increase 45%. Marihuana use among Colorado youth was the highest in the United States, even though the legal age to purchase and possess is 21 years old. Deadly crashes where drivers tested positive for marihuana doubled in five years. Homelessness growth is among the top of their country. In fact, the legalization of marihuana has attracted many homeless to Colorado, putting strains on their supports systems.
Higher impaired driving, increased dropouts, higher unemployment – the Gazette even notes the negative impact on tourism from the ever present scent of grow operations and processing plants. Colorado has now organized a large coalition of doctors, health care professionals, parents, and addiction recovery experts to try and combat what the article calls the “long-term effects of a commercial industry profiteering off of substance abuse”.
This is not the Canada we want or need. We need supports for those with addiction and mental health challenges, not create more problems. We need to come together to end homelessness – as Medicine Hat has shown is possible. We need to provide each child with an opportunity to reach their full potential and lead the world in learning.
I encourage everyone to send a clear message to the Government by participating in the online survey (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-proposed-approach-regulation-cannabis.html). The Government has promised to publish the results online. Let the Trudeau Liberals know that jobs, opportunities, and strong communities are Canadians priorities.
The Liberal government would do well to learn from the mistakes of others. The legalization of marihuana will adversely impact public safety on our roads and workplaces, lead to increased drug abuse in our youth, amplify long term health care costs and will devastate lives and communities.
Glen Motz, MP
Medicine Hat- Cardston – Warner