opinion on legalization of marijuana in Canada

  1. I am doing this project at Addiction Medicine Clinice in Toronto, and am having a hard time finding the support for my views.

    The project is to present group of nurses and doctors (who already know pretty much everything in this issue matter) that marijuana should be fully legalized and decriminalized (not only for medical use), and I should be able to defend this view point from a nursing perspective.

    This I find hard as personaly I am fine with its beign only medicaly approved. However I see many benefits of it being legla in economical gains for the country, and saving people of unnecessary psychosocial abuse by jailing them for marijuana use or possesion.

    I need help, or IDEAS, that will help me support the PRO views from nursing perspective, basically answer the question why is this of a nursing concern, and why should a nurse help fight for this cause other then it being useful medical treatment?


    Thank you all in advance.
  2. Visit sucevicd profile page

    About sucevicd

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 3
    full-time student, personal support worker


  3. by   donmurray
    One possible benefit would be to free up a lot of police time, which would enable them to concentrate on more serious crimes, as well as removing the need for addicts to steal to fund their addiction. Society as a whole benefits, and as many nurses are married to policemen/women, they benefit directly from having more fulfilled spouses! (A bit tenuous, that last bit!) Good Luck.
  4. by   thisnurse
    boy thats one heck of a project.
    i want to help you because i believe marijuana should be legalized in this country as well. problem is im not sure what you want. ill just list the reasons i think it should be legal and you can take some all or none of them. i wont even go into economics because you said you already have those.

    marijiuana has been proven to help settle nausea and increase appetite. it is already being used in a capsule form, marinol, for cancer patients. (it looks like a vit e cap) and it is very effective.
    this could have implications on the general public,providing some benefits to those suffering with chronic nausea/stomach problems.

    it is a mood enhancer, unlike alcohol which is a depressant. might be a benefit of some people who suffer from depression albeit temporary.

    it is not physically addictive.

    it does not cause the system damage alcohol does.
    it is a WEED, an herb. it is smoked in its natural state. no additives no chemical changes needed for ingestion.

    psychosocially, the jail thing is a biggie i think. not just for the smoker himself but for the family as well.

    of course there needs to be regulations set.
    for more info see if hightimes is online. they might be able to help.

    good luck!
  5. by   mattcastens
    Hmmm... a toughie. In fact, I can't help you because I don't think it should be legalized for recreational use. No, I'm not some crazed crusader that thinks that mary-jane leads to all sorts of evils. In the spectrum of recreational drugs, it's pretty harmless.


    As nurses, we are constantly trying to educate the public for health concerns and to improve the general health. Smoking anything is bad for you, whether tobacco, pot, cloth, or wood. Inhalation of smoke and particles damages the lungs. Toxins affecting the brain are not healthy, this goes for weed or alcohol, or any other drug.

    While I agree that the law should treat marijuana users more lightly than it currently does, I don't think we need to legalize yet one more health hazard just to please people. If alcohol, tobacco, or caffiene were newly discovered today, with all their risks, they wouldn't be legal either.

    Mind you, I'm all for the medical legalization.

    As I said before, I know it's not much help, but I wanted to add my $0.02.
  6. by   thisnurse
    matt-would you also be in favor of bringing back prohibition?
  7. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    matt-would you also be in favor of bringing back prohibition?
    No, I would not. But just because one thing is legal doesn't mean that we should make another legal. If pot were legal, would you be in favor of making crack legal? It's the same chain of logic.

    I'm not against the legalization for any moral reason, except that we should think about legalizing a health hazard when we have had so many problems with the health hazards that are already legal.
  8. by   thisnurse
    no matt, its not the same chain of logic. the same chain of logic would be ...if alcohol is legal, pot should be legal. if pot is illegal, alcohol should be illegal.

    you can overdose on crack. you can even in fact overdose on alcohol. ive never heard of anyone overdosing on pot...have you?
    crack is made in somebody's cellar by god knows who. pot is natural.apples and oranges.

    i dunno...i just cant understand how you can justify the legality of alcohol but not pot. they do the same things basically. how can you say one is ok but the other is not?
  9. by   mattcastens
    I'm not saying one is ok and the other not. They are both toxins and harmful to the body. However, alcohol is already legal and prohibition was a failure. Pot is illegal. Since it is as harmful to the body as alcohol, why not keep it illegal?

    Sure, you could say that it is individual choice, and if it only affected the person smoking it, I would be fine with it. However, people driving under the influence of pot have fatal car accidents just as people under the influence of alcohol, and suffer from lung cancer, and have a host of other health problems which affects the economy and the health care system. It's not isolated. Why add more problems to the ones we already have?

    Yes alcohol does all of the above, so does tobacco. We can't make them illegal -- it won't work. But why add more stress to the healthcare system and add one more health risk to an already unhealthy population.

    And don't start on the whole "it's natural" thing. Just because somthing is natural doesn't make it safe. If so, there would be no unsafe mushrooms or plants would there?

    BTW, I have seen a pot overdose. It's possible to OD on anything, including oxygen and water. Both very natural elements, I might add.
  10. by   thisnurse
    then why not eliminate the problems we already have and make alcohol illegal as well? if we as society say its wrong to be high, then its wrong to be high on anything, including alcohol.

    people are smoking it matt. they are going to smoke it whether it is legal or not. keeping it illegal crowds our already overpopulated jails and keeps the underground rich.

    yes, it causes impairment and shouldnt be smoked while driving, at least as much as alcohol. there is no argument there, and thats why i say if one is illegal than the other should be too.

    if we made alcohol illegal people would still drink. the only difference would be that they could go to jail for it.

    you saw an overdose? i never heard of that...what were the signs and symptoms? not doubting you, just curious.
  11. by   fergus51
    I know the difference! You can drink alcohol and not become intoxicated, but you can't say the same for pot.

    As for benefits of legalizing it in Canada, think of all the taxes the government could collect and pour into the health care system and RNs salaries in particular!
  12. by   thisnurse
    not necessarily true fergus. you can smoke without getting wasted. there are degrees of high too, just like alcohol. there are also different strenghts of pot..just like there are different strenghts of alcohol.

    can you imagine the revenue we could bring in if we taxed the pot that is ALREADY sold and consumed?
    pot IS big business just like alcohol. its just not out in the open as much.
  13. by   sucevicd
    I loved all your answers, and mostly I thought about them all. What I need however is something like fergus gave in his/her last reply that tax money could be poured inot the nursing salaries, and other then medical benefits.

    Therefore, what I really need is how does my topic becomes a nursing issue/and or why should a nurse lobby for it (as no matter of what opponion you are and myself are about legalizing pot; just take a stand of being for it and help me answer the question).
    More input is welcome always.
    Thank You all for replying, realy it means a lot.

  14. by   wrightgd
    This is one of those discussions where everyone has their own opinion.... This is mine...

    There's no use in discussing the merits of either substance... Both are harmful to the body, and both can cause varying degrees of impairment to the user. Still there are individuals who will choose to use, or possibly abuse these drugs. You can't stop that, no matter what legislation you pass.

    The issue of legislating the use of these drugs is also different because of the difference in the drugs. These drugs are two different animals completely. The duration period of impairment is different, and that is one of the bigger issues as far as safety is concerned. Marijuana stays in the body longer. It's fat soluble, so if you're overweight and you smoke it on a frequent basis, the user may be "impaired" for more than 48 hours after the last use, even if they feel fine. Government tests with aircraft pilots in simulators have demonstrated this.

    If you want to trust your life to someone who decides that a joint on Sunday afternoon is ok, then support legalization... Open heart surgery by Dr. Doobie!!! :chuckle Not me...

    It's not about being a goodie goodie, its about knowing the effects of the chemicals you put into your body. We have a hard enough time maintaining safety in workplaces. Who wants to worry about the endless possibilities that truck drivers, airline pilots, factory workers, and even health care workers... might have on board as they try to do their jobs.

    For those who will stand up and ask "What about our rights?" I say, "what about the right of everyone else to not be endangered by someone who wants to use drugs" (including ETOH). Who will stand up then and take responsibility for the results of their impaired actions?

    I wonder?....