Can Trudeau Successfully Legalize Marijuana, or Does He Just Have High Hopes?
by justin.bell on September 9, 2013 - 8:46pm
The legalization of marijuana has been an extremely controversial topic for many, many years now. A lot of people would say it’s barely a drug, having many less negative effects than alcohol, and no reported cases of death. However, others would argue that, saying it is a gateway to more serious and addicting drugs. Political leader Justin Trudeau made a statement in August saying that he was not only for decriminalization of marijuana, but also for the legalization and taxation of it. Peter Loewen wrote about this in his article “He’s Riding High Now, but Trudeau’s Position on Pot has its Downsides.” for The Ottawa Citizen. Loewens states that there are both positive and negative ways to view Trudeaus comments. In one case, a large portion of the public opinion could be in his favor because it makes him relatable and distinguishes himself from the Prime Minister. While on the other hand, making his side on the matter publically known may have cost him votes, and that people don’t really care whether or not the prime minister wants to legalize marijuana, making it irrelevant.
People who are in favor of legalization of marijuana generally have more relative ethical values. These people believe in the sanctity of making your own decisions. Meaning that if someone wants to get high, it should be their right to smoke marijuana, and not someone else’s decision. As much as 40% of youth today is in favor of legalization because they want to be able to make the decision themselves whether or not marijuana is for them (Loewes). That is why the statement by Trudeau may have been advantageous, because a large number of people find this kind of attitude relatable.
The people who oppose this kind of way of thinking, and believe marijuana is a drug and should be treated as such have must more absolute ethical values. They believe that because marijuana is illegal, there is a reason for it, and there should be no exceptions to its illegality. Because of this kind of reasoning, Trudeau’s statement could potentially backfire, with people saying they don’t want someone who is openly irresponsible about what he does in his spare time. A lot of people wouldn’t vote for a pot smoking Prime Minister.
The last issue was that the legalization of marijuana is not a high priority for this country, and that even though his comment invoked mass media attention, it still isn’t a topic that is going to get voters to the polls.
In my personal opinion, anyone who wants to smoke marijuana should be free to do so. And if smoking weed isn’t really your thing, don’t be quick to judge someone who occasionally enjoys it. As it was stated earlier, it’s less harmful than alcohol. Everyone is different and everyone enjoys different things, and we should be free to express that without constant fear of getting caught or being judged by our peers. I believe that Justin Trudeau is trying to close a void between a lot of people, and clearly many people are speaking out in support. However, will making this kind of media stunt be enough to someday make him Prime Minister? Or even one day lead to the legalization of marijuana?
Loewen, Peter. "He's Riding High Now, but Trudeau's Position on Pot has its Downsides." The Ottawa CitizenAug 31 2013. ProQuest. Web. 9 Sep. 2013 .