Thursday July 24, 2014





Recreational marijuana use will create risks, issues and harm

Yesterday’s news is old news, I know, but something came to mind after I watched a crowd of people smoking pot while celebrating the legalization of “recreational” pot use in Washington State.

What came to mind was an old skit done by Bob Newhart. For people of my age (mid-50s), you have likely heard Bob Newhart doing the vocal part of the head of the West Indies Company in England in a telephone conversation with Sir Walter Raleigh, who had called him from the colonies in North America.

I just listened to it on YouTube. I think I laughed as much this evening as I did the times I listened to it years ago.

Not to spoil anyone’s anticipation, but the phone call from Sir Walter Raleigh is to inform the West Indies Company of the discovery and uses of tobacco.

My parents both smoked and believe me, their health suffered greatly because of it. That is what puts such an ominous note on a very satirical production.

Maybe we will see another satirical production by a different comedian about the growing acceptance for the non-medical use of pot.

Whether or not a person considers the use of marijuana as part of their recreation, I cannot help but wonder about the satire of the bigger picture.

The jury is still out on some of the potential harmful effects of THC, the active ingredient in pot. Its use in the field of medicine is an issue apart and separate from its recreational use.

It seems that people can’t turn around without being taxed in some way by one or more levels of government.

Society complains loudly about unfair taxes and rightly so. Why is it that when taxation involves what we might think of as pleasure or recreation, the cry goes out for taxes to be levied for the good of all?  

In this case, if the government taxes pot, the health-care system stands to benefit the most. Our law enforcement agencies will be looking for things to do because there will be no more grow-ops or dealers selling illegal pot. I hardly think either will be the case.

MADD knows the harm that alcohol has caused for countless families who have lost loved ones because of booze purchased and taxed heavily from government-approved outlets.

It comes down to individual choice and individual responsibility. The same can be said for the use of pot. I hope we are ready for what we have asked.

JOHN NOAKES

Kamloops





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