Most will agree – both politicians and those without ulterior motives – that youths should not smoke marijuana.
Yet political parties insist on settling into their default mode of pointing fingers and mudslinging rather than informing Canadians honestly about their position on what’s shaping up as a monumental issue.
Many will recall the position Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau make public in the past year, that marijuana should be made legal, with sales controlled as with alcohol.
The federal Conservatives are proposing a marijuana awareness campaign, with a key point to underline the health risks of marijuana to youth. Health Minister Rona Ambrose has denied it is an attack on the liberal leader’s stance.
From his side, Trudeau lashed out at his political foes last week over reports that Health Canada has approached three doctors groups to sign onto an anti-pot advertising campaign directed at youth. In fact, the CMA, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada have turned down the pitch, calling the campaign a “political football,” according to an article from The Canadian Press.
Thankfully those organizations are recognizing this shoot-out for what it is and aren’t hesitating to call it that.
This one issue isn’t likely to be the game-changer in next year’s federal election, but it could have a powerful impact.
We don’t need political attacks thinly veiled as health messages, nor do we need sensitive knee-jerk reactions to health warnings labelling them as partisan attacks. One is as useless as the other.
What Canadians do need is honest, rational discussion. With comparisons to other jurisdictions where recreational use is legal, we would like to know the effects it has had on curtailing criminal activity involving drugs.
Another crucial factor is facts, figures and trends as to whether legal, controlled sales really is a better way of keeping recreational drugs out of the hands of minors.