Should Canada decriminalise marijuana?

April 20th marks 4:20 (4th month, 20th day), a special event for those fighting for the legalization of marijuana or for those who smoke the occasional joint.

Opponents of the current law suggest marijuana should not be illegal but sold in controlled amounts under regulated circumstances, similar to alcohol. They suggest the government could raise money through taxation, and that it would free up police to pursue more serious drug cases.

However, there are many who feel marijuana is a mind-altering substance with potentially serious and harmful ramifications and Canada is right to keep it illegal.

What do you think? Should Canada decriminalise marijuana? If so, how do you think it should be sold and/or distributed? Or, do you feel the current laws are appropriate?

All ready to toke up?

236 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Should it be fully decriminalized?

    No...there should be controls on it...more so than there are, but still...

    Is Marijuana (illegal) more dangerous than tobacco?

    Yes...the illegally grown MJ is more powerful than the stuff grown for Medical Use, and when you consider that you can be stabbed or shot for refusing to pay your dealer, where as the corner store will just kick your butt out into the street (and maybe call the cops on you for Attempted Shoplifting).

    If it is decriminalized, it (AND tobacco) should be available from the Pharmacy *by prescription only!* What this means is that the same number of cops would be out there arresting pot users/sellers, because it would be a controlled substance! After all...prescription drug fraud / abuse / theft is more common than marijuana use.

    Will I toke-up?

    No...the idea of Lung or Throat Cancer (and MJ - when I last read about it a few years back - has twice the carcinogenic effect as tobacco) turns me off...WAY off. Besides...I have too many (legal) addictions (reading, Y!A, Gaming with Friends, etc) to deal with another.

    Good Luck!

    EDIT: Someone made the comparison that Mary Jane was made by God and Alcohol was made by Man...Sorry, but Alcohol was first made by God...then Man discovered how fun it can be to eat overripe fruit...there are birds found dead by the thousands around the world each year, and upon checks to see if the die-offs are worrysome or not, their BACs are found trough the roof...because the sugar in the fruit fremented on the vine!

    EDIT #2: To the person on page #2 claiming that the Canadian Senate had recommended legalizing MJ...nice try. The site you quoted - other than being taken down - is not even an actual Government's missing the "parl" and the "gc" (as in PARLiment and Goverment of Canada). The link below links to the report in question where their recommendations are, and it includes decriminalisation for "personal use" amounts, not outright legalization!

    EDIT #3: Jon on page #7 - Yes, MJ is a naturally growing is Cocao (Cocaine) and Poppies (Heroin) to name is Deadly Nightshade (Atropine) and Castor Beans (the source of SARIN nerve gas!) to name another all four cases, the fatal substances are present naturally in amounts that can cause serious to fatal effects in humans. So are you going to argue that all four derivitives should be legalised? Oh, and the amount of processing to obtain the substances is negligible in some cases - all you need do is pick the plant/leaf!!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    The benefits of legalizing are obvious. Taxes, control, eliminating some of the power of illegal gangs trafficking. You can throw out the regular stoner answers that do little to add other than "I like to smoke".

    As someone who had to supervise oilfield workers that were on call for 24/7 in the past I would say that the harmful effects may not be near as easy to discern. My biggest concern is the effect of marijuana in the workplace once it is legal. Generally speaking the person that is drunk in the workplace is a lot easier to spot than the person who is smoking dope. Is the impairment level the same? Worse? What about drivers who are under the influence. Are we just adding to the epidemic of mindless deaths that is drunk driving by adding stoned driving?

    In the end my question is does the decriminalization of marijuana lead to the social acceptance of it, which in turn would increase the use, or worse the abuse? Can the government afford to take the financial short term gain, at the expense of increased cost down the road? Knowing the government the answer is an obvious "yes". If not this government then one soon. Perhaps the question should read "When".

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think the government should stop sitting on the fence. Either enforce stricter laws against it, or decriminalize it.

    If they are going to decriminalize it, it should be subject to the same laws as cigarettes, while the short term affects are similar to alcohol, the long term ramifications are closer to smoking cigarettes. By decriminalizing it, the government can use the taxes to fund health care and education programs that are necessary as a result of Marijuana use legal or not. Especially intelligent well thought out education programs, everyone talks about the long term mental affects of smoking large amounts of pot, which I know enough people to tell you are true and obvious, but have never been proven. However I can't tell you how many teenagers I've spoken to that don't realize smoking Marijuana causes cancer, more types of cancer infact than cigarettes. There are kids who actually smoke pot thinking it is safer than cigarettes.

    The other advantage that a lot of people over look, is that by legalizing marijuana, you strike a huge blow against drug dealers, and gangs would lose a huge source of their cash. If it is being grown and sold legally, by licensed and strictly monitored companies, no one is going to risk getting shot by the guy in an alley selling it. Remove the crime and you but the criminal out of business. Al Capone is a perfect example of this, he became a violent and dangerous gangster because of the opportunity presented by prohibition, simply making alcohol legal could have ruined him.

    Also if it is made legal, it should still be illegal to grow it, that would make it too accesible to under age individuals, the growth and distribution channels need to be strictly montiored.

    Personally I never have nor would I ever smoke pot, but I think there are definitely some advantages to legalizing it, and either way the government needs to make a decision one way or the other, this nonsense of saying it's illegal but then giving a slap on the wrist fine when someone is caught with it is a joke.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is so hard to answer because the question is too general. Here are some things to think about.

    Drug cartels traffic billions around the world each year. If it was legal, how would this affect the amount of weed that would circulate in your city?

    Kids are already starting as young as infants because of bad parents, young teens because its accessible and young adults because they feel they know better. What happens if 100,000 extra pounds of the drug are circulated into the country?

    With the new flow of income, how would this affect the crime where you live.

    How does any of this affect the border.

    What security measures will have to be put in place to slow down the other drugs that people will try hiding in bags of weed.

    How much money will this cost the government or insurance companies and banking for the buy-outs of all the organizations out there against this drug.

    What about the thousands of people who'll loose their jobs.

    How will this affect the economy since most of the sellers wont claim the profit on their income tax, and many of us will sell double what we're selling now.

    How does this affect what will happen when people are smoking on a job site and drop a quarter ton bucket on someone and kill them, or destroy a house, or fall asleep, run into something etc etc.

    How will this affect education because our students cant pay a rats *** worth of attention in school.

    I'm 22, a former pot smoker, and I ******* love it. I love smoking it, I love seeing people smoke it, and I'd love to make some big ******* cash selling it. But this is not just about legalizing it so we can smoke without getting arrested...

    This is about the functionality and safety of our country.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    When it comes to legalizing marijuana, the cons outweigh the pros. It is still a drug, bottom line. We must take into account the effect it would have on society. It is bad enough that we have to deal with drunk drivers on our streets which can destroy a family in an instant. Fortunately the law have the means to bring justice upon those who behave irresponsibly. Unfortunately the law do not have the means to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana. No one is an expert on the topic so it is not safe to say that it is addictive or not. Either way it acts differently on all of us. What percentage of users will be driving under the influence, working under the influence, in the presence of children under the influence? It boils down to responsibility and accepting reality. What percentage uses for the sole purpose of escaping from troubles and worry? Those same troubles and worries will still be there when one sobers up. The younger generation will certainly experiment more. Who is to stop a teenager from experimenting, or even younger? One thing has been certified, all users start out on marijuana. Some stick to just that, while others move onto more drugs that offer a better or faster high, which in turn can lead to addiction and a lot more troubles and worries that threaten one's sanity, family, friends, relationships, friendships and job. It is just not worth it. I have learned from personal experience, before it was too late.

    Source(s): Personal experience
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  • 1 decade ago

    Im 14 and maybe im too young to have much of an influence ( and probably no one here does). My oppinion is very mixed ..

    1) Wouldn't this be used as a precedent for the legalization of future drugs?

    2) The government does spend a lot of money on trying to stop it yet it still happens. I know 12/13 year olds that smoke pot. and yet the government uses so much money on it and if 12 and 13 year olds can get it then we might as well just make it legal no?

    3) If they were to legalize it, just like stores it should not be allowed to be smoked inside, i think thats reasonable. It should only be allowed in stores with permits ( just like how certain Bars should have permits to serve alcohol). or in your home. but if thats so how do we keep away from kids ?

    4) Age let should be set to like around 19 years or older.

    5). Many parents let thier younger children drink a bit, either at home parties or things like that. Im not sure about what they'd think about smoking weed.

    those are just some concern i think about when it comes to marijuanna and legalization.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I find the following statement interesting: "many who feel marijuana is a mind-altering substance with potentially serious and harmful ramifications..."

    This little plant that grows everywhere (with or without help from man,) is being singled out for something that numerous other things available to Canadians aren't. Alcohol and tobacco are the most obvious, but there are PROVEN harmful ramifications in fast food, medicinal drugs, cars, candles (fumes, not flames,) spray cans, paint (the fumes alone can cause miscarriage.) Almost everything in our world today has TRUE serious and harmful effects. Prejudicing against one thing (which has FEWER ramifications than a cigarette,) is as stupid as saying a Catholic can't go to any school other than a Catholic school.

    I have asthma and a sensitive sense of smell, so I can't stand the smell of tabacco or marijuanna, let alone smoke either. Still, I would much rather catch my children smoking the latter. The only reason the government gives a rat's tail about the legalization is because they don't know how to grow it themselves.

    And if they really do care about these "potential ramifications", stop being a bunch of hypocrits and completely get rid of alcohol and tobacco. If people complain about religious ritual, tough. You want to live in Canada? Follow it's laws. Simple as that.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think if the government sat down and figured out how much money they would save in court cost and how much they would make from the taxes if they legalize marijuana they would be a little more open to this concept.

    Also people like me would be able to get a medication that would take away the pain and discomfort that I suffer with every day with out having to take hand fulls of pills that are more addictive then marijuana.

    And the fact that marijuana is safer and a lot less offensives then alcohol, I mean when was the last time that you had some who was stoned lean over and tell you how much of a buddy you are and how much they loved you with breath that would knock buzzard off a **** wagon.

    And just so you know marijuana was first made illegal in in the U.S in hopes of getting rid of the mexicans!

    Source(s): Go to and type in the marijuana.
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  • 1 decade ago

    The violence and danger associated with the production and distribution of this ONE PARTICULAR DRUG are both due to it's legal status. By making it illegal, we have created a fertile environment to produce crime that you now to need to police. It's a cycle of waste, and it's dangerous. The head is chasing the tail.

    When joe six-joint can buy his stuff at the corner store, he'll be putting money in the hands of an honest business owner, instead of organized crime and gangs. He'll be paying some tax. The people that made money previously off this product will no longer have this income, and the enforcement powers will have additional resources to apply pressure to the other ills of our society making us SAFER.

    It's like smoking tobacco. If you don't approve, educate your kids, and make your choice.

    Don't WASTE money, time, and don't CREATE a criminal breeding ground and and INCOME for gangs because you're uncomfortable with the idea of people getting high. We could be safer and deal a blow to organized crime if you would just get over your desire to tell others how to live their life.

    Yes eventually the bad people out there will find another way to be bad, they will find another way eventually to make money, but if you can cripple one of their major cash bases for a time, it's going to have an effect.

    Give our cops a chance. Take money away from gangs. Produce some tax benefits, and stop worrying about what your neighbors are doing in their backyard.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, it should be legal, I was busted in 1979 for a few twigs and seeds. I still can't enter the US, without giving them a large amount of money (yearly) and being scrutinized and berated by boarder guards. I could accept this if it was a realistic charge, but for what I had, and what I did, its now been 30 years. This is plain stupid. I choose not to go to the US,..... ever again. If I'm that bad of a person, fine I'll do my part to save the US from "the evil doers" and I will not ever go back! It should be sold in a cigarette form, (joint) rolled in government marked, tax paid rolling papers, at a controlled government run store. This would eliminate the lased weed showing up on the streets.

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  • 1 decade ago

    As far as drugs go, marijuana is not bad. I can see selling it for medicinal purposes, as a painkiller. It certainly would be a lot less dangerous than some of the other painkillers they have out there. The selling of it should be regulated through government operated reputable dealers... I dislike the idea of just anyone selling it. Too much can go wrong.

    I think there should be regulations on where marijuana can be used though. I doubt there are as many nasty chemicals in marijuana as there are in cigarettes, but I sure as hell would hate having to stand around breathing in the rather nasty smelling smoke it gives off if the person beside me decides to toke up at the bus stop. I doubt I'm alone in this, and people should not be forced to put up with it if they don't want to.

    Source(s): Non-smoker. Absolutely HATE the smell of cigarette, pipe tobacco, and marijuana smoke.
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