Letter: Legal or not, we need to talk about pot

Two Kwantlen Polytechnic University criminology students say it's high time we opened up public debate on legalizing recreational marijuana.

With the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington and Oregon, and with the confused and inconsistencies around marijuana dispensaries in this province, we are young citizens who have many questions about where our community is headed in regard to marijuana.

Should Canada move from legalization of medical marijuana to an inclusive legalization for recreational use?

Arrests for marijuana possession in this province have been increasing—although the number of arrests depends on the region of the province where people reside.

As criminology students at Kwantlen who hope to enter a career in law enforcement in the not too distant future, we have been looking at health and legal issues around recreational marijuana in the lower mainland for a writing course we have taken with Dr. Sue Ann Cairns.

We do not use marijuana, and thus we have no vested interest in whether or not marijuana is legalized.

However, we do hope that when we are enforcing laws in our community, that the laws are consistent and make sense.

As citizens of this province, and concerned citizens in the community of Surrey, we are concerned about the amount of police time and costs associated with enforcement of our current laws regarding possession of marijuana.

We have discovered both pros and cons regarding legalization of recreational marijuana.

The cons include the following points:

Possible gateway drug to other forms of more dangerous drugs such as cocaine

Health risks, especially for adolescents whose brains are still developing

Impairments in judgement and memory while under the influence

Likelihood that legalization will not be a cure-all for the illegal marijuana trade

The pros include these points:

Reduction of black market

Economic benefits associated with taxation and licensing

Cost savings for courts and police time

Potential reduction of illegal supply in black market

Economic benefits associated with taxation and  licensing

 

Recognizing that there will be a strong need to think this issue through carefully, we believe that it is high time that we have more public dialogue around this question.

Amritpal Jammu and Jasjot Mangat

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Just Posted

Surrey killer foiled by cops’ suspicion he was underage in a bar

Birinderjeet Singh Bhangu was shot dead outside the Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel on Fraser Highway

Community invited to help with Downtown Surrey BIA’s fence art project

Association is hoping to change the ‘narrative’ for 135A Street with artwork

Surrey man who dropped brick of cocaine in front of cops loses court appeal

Amanpreet Singh Gill, 33, was sentenced to two years less a day

Blaine railway stop contingent on international support: All Aboard Washington

Non-profit organizers look to residents of Surrey, White Rock and North Whatcom County

Delta man charged after police surround Tsawwassen home

Troy Kevin Reimer, 52, is charged with one count of uttering or conveying a threat to cause death or bodily harm

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read