Gladu still concerned about legalized pot

(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Some nine months after marijuana was legalized in Canada, Sarnia-Lambton’s MP remains concerned about the long-term effects of smoking pot.

Statistics Canada has said cannabis sales brought in $186 million through taxes between last October and March of this year.

MP Marilyn Gladu said while money generated from legalizing cannabis is a positive for the country, it’s too early to say that legalization was the right decision.

“We knew that when cannabis was legalized we’d see an increase in people using it, which is what they saw in all the U.S. states that legalized it. So for the federal and provincial governments to receive revenue from legalization, I’m sure that is going to be well-needed to address the addiction issues and the mental health issues that may come alongside,” said Gladu. “Some of the effects that we think we will see, for example, the mental health impact on younger people, is something that can take a couple of years before you’d see that result reflected in the statistics.”

Gladu said while it’s a positive that legalization has led to job creation locally, she said it’s concerning to hear that around 10 per cent of people admit that they’ve been high at work in the past.

“So that’s the ones that admit they’re getting high at work,” she said. “That’s a troubling statistic in terms of trying to make sure we have safe work environments. You can imagine Air Canada, chemical plants, refineries — those are places that you’d want to make sure people aren’t working while high.”

Gladu has been a vocal opponent of the federal Liberal’s marijuana legislation, Bill-C45, since it was introduced. The Sarnia-Lambton MP recited an anti-pot poem in the House of Commons in December of 2017.