I was born in to a middle class working family in the suburbs of Vancouver, BC, Canada.
My teenage years were in the mid 90s. I started smoking dope habitually at the age of 14, with consumption increasing to ounces per week. Most definitely myself and the kids I hung out with were addicted to getting high. Weed, booze, harder drugs nothing was off limits. The liberal minded could be label it as harmless “partying” or “just being young” but when you binge every weekend or get high every day there is no doubt you are an addict and it will affect the trajectory of your life.
I’ve lived through the years of Canadian politicians lobbying to decriminalize and legalize marijuana.
I’ve heard all the same lies I’m hearing the parties involved here (New Zealand) speak now.
From experience and having seen the outcomes of the legalization of marijuana my views are the following.
Legalizing marijuana most definitely will not make a dent in the black market, people will buy from the cheapest supply and the black market will undercut the legalized market in a way where gov’t weed can’t be grown or sold cheap enough. The black market still thrives and sells weed in Vancouver.
The taxes the gov’t makes from selling weed will not all go in to addiction recovery and social programs to combat drug addiction and the problems caused by legalization. Does all of our tax we pay for fuel and RUCS go back in to roading the transport infrastructure they tell us it does? NO, and its a big lie if they say it does.
The legalization or decriminalization of marijuana removes any fear of prosecution and police resources will more often than not not be used to enforce bylaws like no smoking in public. Once the fear of prosecution is removed you’ll see parks filled with young people blatantly smoking weed, or adults/young people smoking wherever and whenever they feel like it because they know 9 out of 10 times there will be no resource to enforce the law or if there is there will be no criminal action.
It took me close to 15 years to break out of the dysfunction of constant substance abuse and get my life back on track.
Why do we need to legalize weed, which more often than not is used to mask the problems of serious dysfunction? Wouldn’t it be wiser to go further upstream and tackle the issues causing these dysfunctions than to say lets legalize the drug so these people can medicate themselves of their problems?
I used to work about a block away from Vancouver’s first “safe injection site” which was a taxpayer funded place people could go and shoot heroin and hard drugs. What we heard for years and years from politicians is that it would help clean up the neighborhood and go a long way in reducing the number of addicts. I would walk through hundreds of “zombies” every day and the numbers never decreased, the increased.
Again isn’t money going to tackle the problems further upstream that are causing these problems?
In 2010 when the Winter Olympics came to town, they took all of those “zombies” and bought them bus tickets out of town and out of province so surprise, surprise when the world showed up the neighborhood was nice and clean.
I’ve lived through and seen the destruction caused by the lies and hopefully my experience will help influence someone to vote NO in this upcoming referendum.
(Name withheld by request)