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Up in Smoke

Marijuana and millenials

By Sabrina Jonas

Weed. Pot. Ganja. Cannabis. The list of monikers for marijuana has been growing long before peace signs and flower power, and so has the list of its supporters.

Starting from the '60s to this current generation of experimenting teens, smoking marijuana has become almost normalized in our society. So much so that the fight to legalize the drug has been met with 63 per cent favourability by the Canadian population, according to a CBC poll this past April.

A mild marijuana user and fellow student at university enjoys the effects the drug has on his creativity. "It helps with brainstorming [and] if I want a deeper meaning out of a song or movie," says Benjamin. He cites the benefits marijuana has shown with regard to cancer and glaucoma.

A mild marijuana user and fellow student at university enjoys the effects the drug has on his creativity. "It helps with brainstorming [and] if I want a deeper meaning out of a song or movie," says Benjamin. He cites the benefits marijuana has shown with regard to cancer and glaucoma.

Another user, and a more frequent one at that, is 19-year-old Jen. She supports the legalization of marijuana due to the mental illness marijuana helps her cope with. “I have really bad anxiety and I wake up with constant nausea. If it wasn’t for marijuana, I honestly don’t know how I would get through the day,” says Jen.

Jen gets her supply from local dispensaries. These centres are a grey area in terms of legality and, while some are shut down, some thrive with business from over-age teens and young adults looking for a pure substance.

While there are numerous pros to the usage of marijuana, there are valid cons as well. Marijuana, like any other smoke, takes a toll on the lungs; although, unlike tobacco, there’s no link between marijuana and lung cancer. The drug can also temporarily affect short-term memory and cause paranoia. The risks of the drug seem innocuous, even more so when told that marijuana is not physically addictive; however, it can be mentally addictive.

When talking about and debating the legality of this drug with friends and coworkers, one main point is brought up and agreed upon every time: Be smart and don’t abuse it. Being smart with any substance that changes our mindset or bodily state, such as alcohol or caffeine, is the only way that this drug will be able to exist in harmony with our society.

The main arguments for legalizing marijuana are that it will make consumption safer, more controlled, and perhaps act as an incentive to discourage those simply trying to be rebellious. However, the cons stem from abuse and individuals reacting differently to its effects. Many teens and young adults believe an age limit should be put in place. They feel designated smoking areas would enable most to live in a world where marijuana is legal. Green peace has taken on a whole new meaning for these mellow millennials.

Montréal enSanté turns to a much maligned and often misunderstood demographic: youth. We thought we’d get our 20-year-old intern to tackle some tough topics.

 

Winter 2018, Vol 10 N°1

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Summer 2018
Vol 10 N°3

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