Drug problems will only get worse

Legalization of marijuana seems to be inevitable in Canada, but the question is open to whether this country is about to make things worse in terms of drug use. When there is a huge concern right now over opioid use, is this really the time to be opening the doors to marijuana use?
    The police report for this week in Weyburn shows that this community is not immune to the problems that promise to only get worse from this point on, including opioid use. There is a public alert out in Weyburn that there is cocaine laced with fentanyl circulating here, and that is truly scary, considering how incredibly potent fentanyl is.
    In terms of marijuana use, the same police report also points to at least two drivers this past week charged with being impaired by the use of marijuana. As the legalization of this so-called “recreation” drug approaches, you can be sure this will only increase.
    Weyburn’s city council voted to allow up to two retail outlets of marijuana, which is what a community of our size is allowed by provincial legislation (Regina can have up to six, and Saskatoon up to seven).
    Opposing this, Coun. Winston Bailey referred to the state of Colorado as an example of what might happen here. Looking at the statistics for marijuana use in that state, one alarming one is that use by teenagers peaked the year that the drug was legalized — but on a positive note, with increased vigilance in asking for ID and making penalties tougher for selling to minors, the use by teens has fallen sharply.
    There still are teens using marijuana, as they are now ranked seventh in the United States, and while use has decreased, it still is higher than prior to legalization. One good piece of news is that use of other drugs by teens, such as alcohol, tobacco and heroin, has also decreased.
    Meantime, government and law enforcement agencies in both Canada and the U.S. are wrestling with opioid use, with President Trump now suggesting the death penalty might be one way to dissuade the sale of this deadly drug. Is there are any relation to the use of marijuana?
    There are some thoughts that pot is considered a “gateway” drug, as it may lead people who use it to consider a higher high, and if harder drugs are easier to get, that may well lead to ingesting pills that may contain fentanyl.
    There needs to be more public education about what drugs do to the human body, and to relationships, jobs and families, because the job for law enforcement is only going to get a lot harder from this point on.

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