Legalization is a good step, but won't end drug problems

Two & Out
By James Peters
April 22, 2016 - 10:56am Updated: April 25, 2016 - 2:50pm

KAMLOOPS — Could we have seen the last 4-20 smoke-in ever this week? 

Some people seem to think so. 

With the Trudeau government choosing so wryly to reveal its legislative timeline for legalizing pot on April 20, there is a feeling that there simply won't be a need for the traditional protest anymore.

The marijuana legalization movement will have accomplished its goal and 4-20 can be retired with other protest movements that eventually saw success.

The government will begin the legislative process of legalization next spring. 

Then, we will instantly transform into an enlightened society where drugs are taxed and regulated and can be enjoyed in moderation by consenting adults. 

If only utopia was that easily reached.

When it comes to drug policy, there are those who believe legalization will solve all of our ills.

On Facebook this week, some responded to a story about a spike in fentanyl overdoses by suggesting it could have been avoided with a regulated marketplace. 

Preposterous. 

While legalization is likely a step in the right direction that will hopefully neuter organized crime and introduce some semblance of quality control, it's pure fantasy to think it will eliminate drug related problems. 

People will still use irresponsibly. 

They will combine it with activities that put other people at risk. 

It will end up in the hands of children too young to know what they're doing. 

And yes, people will overdose. 

In those respects, legalization won't change anything, because people are at their core selfish, and will act in selfish ways. 

If the closest approximation to the treatment of marijuana is how we treat alcohol, then that speaks for itself.

4-20 protests may soon lose their reason to be, but there will always be a need to keep a close eye on our drug policy.

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