I heard the news that Canada became the second country in the world to legalise the recreational use of cannabis and, in all honesty, it shocked me. Mums are smoking weed while pregnant to get rid of morning sickness The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, believes that legalising the drug will help keep marijuana away from underage users and reduce related crime, but in our experience of treating some 140 patients per month for various addictions, addiction to ‘harder’ drugs in our patients stems from them trying cannabis at a young age. At our seven treatment centres, almost all of the patients that we treated for either heroin or cocaine addiction in 2017 started their experience of taking drugs in their childhood by using cannabis.
This is why I ultimately believe that Canada’s decision is ludicrous, dangerous and in all honesty a bit short-sighted. It worries me that they’re perhaps prioritising cutting down crime in the short term because taking away the illegal element to growing and selling the drug will put a stop to funding criminals preying on those most vulnerable. But this decision opens up the door to the current and future younger generations being more accepting of a drug that can be addictive. Cannabis use can cause dependency in the same way as other drugs do such as cocaine or alcohol, both on a chemical and behavioural level. When a person uses cannabis, the active ingredient of the drug – THC – travels through the bloodstream and heads straight for the brain. Once in the brain, it mimics the endogenous cannabinoids, disrupting brain function and the brain ultimately enjoys pleasure which will make the person believe it wants more.