Jim Furlong: Uncharted Waters

Jim Furlong: Uncharted Waters

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A little news story caught my eye last night that brought home to me how unready we are for the legalization of marijuana. The item was whether you could smoke weed on a golf course once marijuana becomes legal. One course wanted to ban it.

Here is the issue. If you can smoke cigarettes and drink beer as you tee off how could a golf course say NO to weed? It is a matter that might be headed to court in a hurry. Like telling me I couldn’t eat bread on a golf course. In October weed will be legal and with the ability to legally smoke comes very important rights associated with that ability. That legalization comes with a lot of questions. The answers elude me. As an aside here on a golf course a course “marshal” told me recently that if he could keep cocaine off his fairways that would be fine with him. He wasn’t worried about weed.

Weed: a Bad Influence 

Recently we had a well publicized situation in Portugal Cove where an application for a marijuana dispensary was rejected after the town council received a petition from residents who didn’t want marijuana sold in their community. The petitioners talked about children and bad influences and things like that. The petition made no reference to the number of places where you can buy all the beer you want in Portugal Cove and where you can spend your whole cheque on lottery tickets and gamble till your ears bleed if you want to. Council in the end said the ban was because the application was incomplete.  The point I am making is not about banning beer sales or lottery tickets.  Instead it is a reminder that beer and lotteries and weed are all capable of being a bad influence and the world will have to adjust to legal weed AND respect the rights of those associated with it. 

Marijuana Issues

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What about the work place? Will it be reshaped? Right now, during a lunch break you can’t go out and get drunk and return to work, but you can go out and have a drink. In October can you go and roll up a “fatty” or reach for a bong during your lunch break? Great question because if you can’t then you must ask by what power you can’t. What policies need to be changed? How are they enforced? 

Again, I don’t know the answers, but I know there are “issues”. Where are the legal lines? I don’t want anyone driving their car stoned and I don’t care how strict the drinking and driving laws become. I’m all for them. You can have two beer and be sober, but I don’t want anyone driving on a road I am on after they have had two beer or two drinks or two “draws” for that matter. 

We are headed now into uncharted waters. I am a child of the 60s. I am all for weed. Still I am concerned that so many questions don’t have answers.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: jfurlong@ntv.ca

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