"What do you think about cannabis being legalized?" is the question I ask friends, family, and random people I've been around over the last couple of weeks. I’ll tell you this, if you’re like me and get easily bored with mundane discussions it's a dandy for engagement. But be warned, this question is not for the faint-hearted. If you aren’t prepared to navigate your way through a landmine of opinions on a polarized, mostly misunderstood topic, stick to lamenting about the weather. Keep reading for a highlight reel of my discussions:
Ryan | 43 | Pharmacist | Saskatchewan (SK), CDN
“If you ask me, it’s no worse than alcohol. In fact, likely better. I just don’t think it belongs in a pharmacy.”
Frank | 59 | Heavy Equipment Operator and Business Owner | Manitoba (MB), CDN
“I don’t see it doing any harm. How the heck are they going to test people when they are driving, and who’s to say when is too much?”
Dr. Jay | 45 | General Practitioner and Family Doctor | CDN
“You might as well eat donuts,” he replied to my wife who inquired about cannabis as a potential treatment for cramps and stress reduction.
“Donuts make you feel good too,” he finished. “There is no clinical evidence that supports the use of that stuff."
David | 30 | Network Administrator | CDN
“I feel it’s similar to alcohol. I also think funds from cannabis will create programs that help people who suffer from addiction. I don’t like the attitude the subculture seems to propagate, but maybe legislation will help change that. It’s hard to say.”
Leon | 38 | Truck Driver | CDN
“I think it’s just a big government scam to make money. There’s no way it should be legal. People would be driving high all the time, it's ridiculous.”
Araya | 6 | MB, CDN
“I like it because it’s a plant. It gets food from the sun and water to grow.”
Among the people I spoke with, most from rural MB and SK, I found no hesitation of opinion. People were interested, open to talking about cannabis, and in some cases, they found it as a springboard to express their perspective on other polarizing topics. The most common concerns were how to manage impairment at work and safety on the roads, while many agreed there are positive benefits from additional taxation.
My favorite discussion was with my daughter, who at the innocent age of six pronounces cannabis with just the right degree of cuteness. Most concerning to me was that her level of knowledge of the subject, compared with many of the people I encountered, wasn’t that far off. At least she didn’t go as far to take such a stated opinion to something she barely knew.
If you’d like to hear more, let me know in the comments below, I’ll continue to share.
**Some of the names have been altered for privacy purposes**