Day 135 (of 186) my ongoing thoughts (worries) on education connected to #420Day
April 20th – the unofficial “celebration” of all things narcotical. I am not a fan, as previously written: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/day-136-of-185-personal-view-on-420/
I state that in general, I do not care what most 35 year olds ingest but I am very worried for how it will be portrayed for our youth – after all, the “coolness” of smoking via TV and Movies helped generations of people get hooked on the habit. We know that marketing and social media pressures work – but commercials don’t have to deal with the after and ongoing effects that do happen. When the government gives approval for legalization of a product, does the government also take the responsibility for its use and mis-use? Especially since many males in that 35-45 age range connecting mental health issues with self-directed drug use and suicide. And we always need to be aware: kids do what they see – which is why there are so many second/third generation smokers – I avoided that habit, but know I’m in the minority.
My problem is that I know too many lives that have been lost due to drug use and I struggle putting a tax revenue line connected to those losses. Self Medication is not advisable at the best of times, but there have also been times that dependence on non-prescription drugs makes “poor choices” easier to make. And I will also admit that misuse of prescription drugs has it’s own legacy of evil – but at least here there is (supposed to be) a three-way conversation between patient, doctor and pharmacist to watch for any “bad mixes” that can too easily occur – when anxiety’s best friend is panic – using drugs that enhance paranoia is not a good idea. And any sense of “initial calm” that is felt is too often lost and then “chasing that remembered feeling” becomes the obsession – heck I still remember how a demerol shot melted my back pain the one time I received it and that was long before I had my kids! But at least with a medical doctor involved I can see how medications may mix and what the positives and negatives will be – not via experimentation but by knowing how they actually work and interwork. Too often an initial sense of relaxation is followed by a sense of paranoia and discomfort – just like the sugar high & sugar crash we can connect with candy bars and soda pop, what goes up must come down and what goes down tends to come back up.
And if a medical doctor were to prescribe marijuana for specific reasons – (aka real – not glaucoma for a 30 year old “sufferer”) I’d be okay with that. For people dealing with the pain of cancer (and the pain of cancer treatments) there has been some positive results (but again, not for all which is why I’d still rely on the advice of a doctor).
I have seen too many lives change after drug use. And not enough friends on Facebook celebrating X years sober/clean – though I am damn happy with seeing those that have survived to share their journeys. Recovery is difficult – and acceptable – and with Canadas upcoming stance to legalize marijuana – there will be even more pressure to keep using, because it’s legal – the government has said it’s use is approved, no matter what the social, emotional or metaphysical the cost may be. I’ve lost family and friends to the streets and to the grave. “It’s just weed” is a hollow statement to me – and a dangerous belief.
Marijuana is addictive (as is coffee, as are sleeping agents – anything can be addictive – it’s important to be mindful of why we use what we use and how much we use no matter what it is). It is well documented that its use does impact the development of the human brain. Even though a “timely” article says its effects only last 72 hours – the biggest problem are the users who can’t go 72 hours in between use. https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/18/health/marijuana-cognitive-effects-study/index.html and while the headline of a study conducted by a pro-marijuana group has some evidence to show the effects diminish after 72 hours – bigger studies still raise bigger issues: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cpd/2014/00000020/00000013/art00009
Organized Crime is (and will continue to be) involved in the distribution and production of marijuana – this raises a range of moral and ethical issues beyond what the drug use itself can lead to. The “profits” that are promised with the legalization are spent before they are earned – community policing, business licence bylaw enforcement, extra education enforcement (same as tobacco or same as alcohol or different? in a K-12 learning environment) medical costs – fentanyl connections have already cost too many lives and too many dollars are trying to be found to help on make the kits available that help save lives.
I am nervous for this Canada Day – the day where the advocates for greater drug legalization see their advocation come to fruition. I know that for a large number of people, this justifies their campaign, and I hope the victory they get is the one that they want….but I worry that the future we are moving to may not be what it could be…and I hope I’m wrong.