Justin Trudeau, Darrell Dexter, yes, even Jamie Baillie.
The list of politicians who have played with pot is a long one. For some it was in the distant past. For others it’s a present pastime. Regardless of whether you believe marijuana should be legalized, this could be problematic.
Politicians help shape our laws. They aren’t supposed to be the ones breaking and then bragging about it.
(And no, technically it’s not illegal to smoke marijuana, but make no mistake when you hold it in your hand to put it to your lips, you are guilty of possession.)
There is legitimate reason to look at how marijuana possession is prosecuted. It is indeed a costly part of our legal system and even police chiefs here in Pictou County are in favour of a fine versus prison sentence for punishment.
But there are real dangers to smoking marijuana, particularly for youth, who medical experts tell us can suffer long-term effects. Police and addiction services locally tell us that studies show it is an accessory drug – one that leads people into harder drugs.
For our political leaders to be using it, without any acknowledgement that is wrong because it breaks the laws their predecessors have set, sends a bad message to our youth. It tells them that rules truly are made to be broken. That if you don’t agree with a law that you don’t have to keep it. That everybody’s doing it.
It may gain politicians votes with the youth to admit that they’ve smoked dope, but it may cost our society more in the long run.
The debate about whether marijuana should be legalized is certainly one that will be had in the near future. It’s one that needs to happen. Should it be legalized, then it will have to be carefully monitored, as alcohol and tobacco are. But until that day comes, it’s probably best if politicians either abide by the rules or admit that they’re wrong when they don’t.