THE EXILED

THE CONTRARIAN

His medical condition is greatly relieved by the drug.  Well, he thinks so, anyway, actually there is no solid science supporting the belief, but, hey, we don’t penalize guys who eat spinach in the belief it makes them strong, after all, it might work.  The trouble is, the drug is not acceptable, hard and expensive to get, and has to be taken in secret, in often scuzzy surroundings.  Some people think we need to change all that.

Of course you are thinking about ‘medical marijuana’, the foot-in-the-door to legalizing that drug, but actually that is not what I am talking about, I am talking about tobacco.  There is some science supporting that tobacco sometimes has medical value, in fact the evidence that tobacco helps prevent nervous disorders such as Parkinson’s is stronger than that supporting medical marijuana.  But still, I am not promoting tobacco on its medical benefits.

No, I am protesting the discrimination against those (mostly senior) citizens who are addicted to a government-sponsored and taxed drug.  I am protesting the over-the-top demonization of tobacco to the point where the addict is denied proper medical care.  I am protesting such spectacles as gown-clad, terminally ill patients pushing their IV poles off the hospital property and into the bush to have a smoke.  Some of them terminal, and the nearest thing to pleasure they will have before they die is their cigarette.  Thank heaven the Dryden Hospital is a least a bit more compassionate, they don’t have to push their wheelchairs and IV poles quite as far as some other places.

Given today’s knowledge, getting addicted to either tobacco or marijuana is just plain stupid — being illegal makes marijuana seem ‘cool’ to some, and being so over-the-top demonized makes tobacco seem ‘cool’ to others, so we keep creating new addicts.  The solution seems to be to make both drugs legal and tax them accordingly.  Then you can stop the publicity campaign demonizing tobacco – you will have won your battle, so you can drop it.  Stop the silly publicity, make both drugs government-sponsored and therefore boring, and neither will be ‘cool’.  We will have stopped creating new addicts.

So maybe Justin is wiser than some of us give him credit for.  Ending the battle to legalize marijuana might just restore a bit of justice to the tobacco smokers, and we won’t even talk about the gross violation of human rights that is a RIDE program.  Too late for the thousands of bankrupted Canadian families whose family business happened to be a bar or a restaurant or a tobacco shop, and was destroyed in the battle for marijuana, but life is not always fair.

I just hope Justin has thought about what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who make an easy living out of dealing illegal drugs.  Welfare will not support their accustomed lifestyle, so, If we take away their income by legalizing marijuana, will they go out and get honest jobs?  Or will they push our kids into using something much worse?  Such a complicated world.

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