Marijuana Legalization in Canada – Colorado and Washington:

In November, 2015, I had the opportunity to travel to the state of Colorado, which has legalized marijuana.  During this time I had the opportunity to talk to school officials and school resource officers (SRO) regarding the effects of this legalization.  Come January I had another opportunity to visit the state of Washington, which has also legalized marijuana.  I was curious to see how the legalization was interpreted between states.

While in Washington I visited a few marijuana retail stores, which was extremely interesting considering my background.  Here the marijuana is prepackaged for sale; in Colorado it is displayed in large jars and the amount you wish to purchase is weighed.  The state of Colorado permits the sale of candy and drinks containing THC.  This merchandise is not available for sale in Washington.  One of the retail stores in Washington was similar to a fast food joint (excuse the pun).  There were large, highly visible signs about the cash area with a list of the products available, the price and the THC levels.  I noticed a product on the “menu” with a THC level of 79.4%, that is very strong.    In another retail store I witnessed a man, a first timer based on the questions he was asking, researching his options prior to deciding if he was going to purchase or not.  Listening to the sales person, who was very knowledgeable, was similar to a salesperson in a wine store advising you on which wine to pair with your various meals.

There are various strains of Marijuana; Indica, Sativa and Hybrids.  Indica is described as having a more sedating, relaxing, full-body effect which means you are quite content to sit down, unwind, and watch movies for many hours. Sativa is described as a racier cerebral effect that leaves you feeling energized and uplifted.  They indicated that consumers tend to prefer Indica for nighttime use while Sativa is used for morning and afternoon. Hybrids are a combination of Indica and Satvia, and promoted as “experiencing the best of both strains”.

Regardless of which state students attend school, the legal age to purchase and consume marijuana is 21 years and over.  This is often over looked by students, causing them to get into trouble with the law. There are severe consequences for students at school if they are under the influence or caught using marijuana.  The consequences vary slightly from school to school, and state to state, but generally result in suspensions of some degree.  One school, for example, the students are suspended for a period of 45 days.  This sentence can be reduced by five days if they agree to enter into a 12 week drug abuse program and a further reduction of one to four days if they do five hours of community service work.  Should they fail to complete the 12 week program, the remaining 40 days of the original suspension are then enforced.  Student involvement in sports teams, clubs and all field trips are removed until the consequences are completed.  The second offense results in an expulsion from the school and possibly the school district.

Points to consider and questions that need answers:

When drinking and driving you are charged with two offenses:

#1. Impaired Driving – this is the physical evidence of impairment such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, unsteady on one’s feet, and a strong smell of alcohol.  Next is the driving evidence such as speeding, or driving well below the posted speed limit, weaving from side to side, crossing the centre line, and more.  These are all used to support the charge of Impaired Driving.

#2. Over .08 – this is the breath sample from the Breathalyzer or Intoxilyzer.  This charge results from a breath test administered by a certified Breath Tech who obtains two samples of breath 17 minutes apart to show the level of impairment.  The measurement of .08 is equal to 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.  Therefore, when you see a news report of a person caught with a blood level of 160 they are double the legal limit.  Should a person refuse to supply a sample of breath they will face a further charge.

Scientific studies have shown that a person’s ability to function normally is impaired somewhat at .05 or the equivalent of 50mg/100ml,  for this reason some US states have a legal limit of .05.  The formal wording in the Criminal Code of Canada for the charge of Impaired Driving is by alcohol or a drug whether it is illegal or prescription.  At this time there is no data to show what the corresponding level of impairment is for Marijuana.  How will a legal limit before impairment be established?  This is a question worth answering, sooner rather than later.

Did you know?

Some people believe that success brings you happiness.  Studies have shown however, that it is actually the opposite, people that are happy become successful.  My challenge to all staff and students in the small group session is to give at least three compliments to someone every day before lunch.  Those accepting this challenge find that they start to give compliments throughout the day as they see the positive affect it has on others.

A school administrator shared a story with me, being a recipient of a class who took on my challenge.  The administrator was having one of those days.  It seemed like nothing was working out for the positive and it was a day of constantly putting out fires.  A question came to mind “Why am I doing this?”  The administrator entered a classroom of students who had participated in a small group session earlier; the students were very excited about the administrator’s presence in the classroom and started a shower of compliments which would fill one’s heart.  Upon exiting the classroom, the students applauded.  This kind act changed someone’s outlook for the entire day.

Challenge – Give three genuine compliments each day and notice the effects of your words!

Family time:

Select a movie to either go to or watch at home with the family.  Maybe watch some of the old family movies or go through a photo album or two.  All digital devices are to be turned off.

Testimonial of the month:

All I can say is WOW!! 

I was going on brain overload.  You are truly an amazing person.  Really gave me an eye opener.  Big changes will be happening with the way I deal with my kids for sure.  Hollering has not been working and is going to stop.  Look forward to attending again, if and when you come back to (*).  My wife said she will come as well.  Thanks again for the reality check.

A Dad