Cadieux: Embrace Pot Shops and Marijuana

Article by Agnes Cadieux, Ottawa Citizen

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A year into the new post-Stephen Harper era, it doesn’t look like much has changed. We’ve done right by some 30,000 Syrian refugees, and ruffled a lot of feathers with the most recent carbon-pricing initiative, but everything else seems to be business as usual.

But one thing that has quickly changed, party because of the Liberal party’s platform, is the plethora of medicinal marijuana clinics that have cropped up all over the country, including Ottawa, even though they’re not entirely legal – yet.

When one considers the history of illegal drug use, things such as the Opium Wars of the 19th century, the presence of cocaine in household consumables or, more recently, the war on drugs, come to mind. Now cannabis has gained an interesting notoriety in our culture, which is experiencedas a certain je ne sais quoi about where to put it. It’s still not legal to sell for now, and these pot shops are also illegal, but is it really that bad?

It must be, since that’s what those drug-war people have been telling us all this time. But if that’s true, why would the government bring in proposed laws to “legalize, regulate, and restrict its access”? Maybe it’s because the drug-war people got it wrong.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound responsible for the addictive psychotropic effects one gets from marijuana, and it seems to be causing all the flap. Yet there are other critical compounds in the plant, namely the cannabinoids, which latch onto none other than the body’s own cannabinoid receptors within the nervous system and – you guessed it! – relieve pain.

Read full article here.

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