Sgt. Barnes: I'd like to hear about it, potheads. Why do you smoke this shit? So as to escape from reality? Me, I don't need this shit. I am reality. – Platoon 
One night not so long ago, I had a disturbing dream, a nightmare that still bothers me to this day.
In it, I was hired by a company, a hospital or infirmary of some kind, and given rudimentary training. My job, it seemed, was that of a caregiver or a night watchman of sorts.
In the dream, an oddly proportioned, dumpy looking woman with a marble slab face and a crisp white lab coat led me hurriedly around a sterile, harshly lit room. I recall the space smelled like formaldehyde, illness and slow death. All around me, bodies lay silent, sleeping; it was from these people that the odor leaked.
Essentially, the job consisted merely of being in the same room as these corpse-like, sleeping individuals, positioned on uncomfortable looking metal tables. Many were hardwired to life support systems and monitors. My uncomfortable guide explained that there was nothing to it really, that practically nothing was expected of me. The people, it seemed, had been catatonic or brain dead for a long time and would likely never recover. I was to watch over the emaciated, comatose bodies, occasionally changing a catheter bag or adult diaper. I was given instruction on how to perform a ‘lift’ if someone fell off his or her narrow bed. There was mention of a procedure that had to be strictly adhered to if someone awoke, but no further explanation was given, which worried me.
The impatient looking, heavyset nurse gave me perhaps 10 minutes of training before flatly stating that her shift had ended a half hour ago. She suddenly turned and bustled out, a metal card lock door slamming after her, leaving me disoriented. I stood alone in the corrupt room, saturated by the smells of sickness and decay. The people lay perfectly still, not visibly breathing, embraced by the sounds of forced air and machine monitors beeping in the silence.
I had time enough only to stroll once across the room before something terrible happened; the bodies began jolting awake and straining to sit up one by one. I had somehow expected this but was nonetheless shocked as wires wrenched loose, I.V.’s bled, blank eyes flashed open and mouths gaped. The people writhed and struggled, choking, gasping helplessly and retching. I heard a sickening wet smack behind me, and I realized that one of the patients had fallen to the floor, crumpled and broken on the cold tile like a bag of china.
Life support machines lit up and alarms sounded. With a frightening lurch, I realized that I had no idea whatsoever how to help these people as they thrashed, while others began teetering and falling from their tables. Skeletal hands strained and grasped while vacant, senseless eyes stared. Desperation washed over me, as I rushed from one person to another, trying to restrain flailing arms and somehow prevent others from falling.
I awoke gasping for breath, not unlike the corpses in my dream had moments ago. I was overwhelmed with horror, deeply repulsed by what I had seen and by my own failure to stop the appalling situation. Like Pandora, I was able to predict what was surely going to occur but unable to stop it from happening.
I think now, looking back, that what troubled me most was the fact that the people were awake but not conscious, that they possessed neither understanding nor reason. Blank, idiot faces with glazed, staring eyes; the people were nothing more than waxen, pale-skinned corpses with no cognizant ability, no sense or understanding. These gibbering, wasted bodies were not people at all, but rather uncomprehending somnambulists in a human storage locker.
Let us now fast forward to today. Another time, another nightmare. In exactly 4 days, the Trudeau Government will follow through with its initiative to legalize Canada-wide marijuana use, one of the only election platforms the Liberals seem fiercely determined not to compromise on or withdraw. On this date, Canada will forge ahead down the slippery slope of ever-looser substance restrictions, making it easier to obtain Cannabis in its many forms and, inevitably, other mind-altering drugs down the road.
Like all legal drugs, Cannabis will join a long list of mind-altering “medications” that people consider “safe”, or, as many seem to regard it, as a ‘benign recreational drug’. People will start to grow it, smoke it and swallow it, trusting that their government has judged it harmless, that their benevolent benefactors have looked after their best interests.
It occurs to me that this kind of complacency, this hurry to enact new policy for the sake of it, is both ill considered and foolish. So too is the public rush to embrace a drug that has been previously considered a dangerous, illegal substance in Canada since April 23, 1923. 
In its haste to appease the masses and entice voters to the Liberal banner, our government is making careless, far-reaching decisions that will inevitably effect people’s health, mental wellness, and even their supposed intelligence. With little forethought, Canada will join Uruguay as one of the only two countries in the world that have fully legalized the consumption and sale of recreational cannabis nationwide . Have we properly considered the consequences of our collective undertaking? Have we considered the long-term cost of our actions?
It is my opinion that we have not. Cannabis legalization represents a significant threat to our Canadian health and moral standards, yet we are stumbling ahead with myopic disregard. In numerous publications, the US National Library of Medicine has repeatedly established links between Cannabis use and addiction. One such editorial states that:
…evidence exists of significant harm for some individuals, with 1 in 10 users developing cannabis dependence. Furthermore, sixteen percent (~300,000) of all substance abuse treatment admissions in the United States were for cannabis-related disorders; this is second only to alcohol-related disorders. It is estimated that more than 4 million Americans meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV diagnostic criteria for cannabis dependence. 
With inadequate safeguards, the Liberals are blindly pushing ahead with their initiative, giving minimal thought to restricting marijuana abuse. Addiction, widespread health problems and mental illness are of little interest to a party attempting, above all else, to appear progressive and tolerant.
More disturbing is the definitive link between Cannabis and mental illness. Downplayed by the media, the fact that marijuana users are twice as likely to develop mental illness as non-users is a serious concern. Mark Winstanley, founder of the charity ‘Rethink Mental Illness’, recently wrote, “Too often cannabis is wrongly seen as a safe drug, but… there is a clear link with psychosis and schizophrenia, especially for teenagers.” 
Consider that Marijuana smoking in adolescence significantly increases the risk for eventually becoming psychotic and/or developing schizophrenia. Winstanley is of the opinion that smoking marijuana amounts to playing “Russian roulette with your mental health.”  People, it seems, are more than willing to exchange their mental health for euphoria, the Liberal government acting as their dealer. The media, meanwhile, portrays marijuana as benign and free of risk. Would people be as accepting of Cannabis if they knew that, in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or an addiction problem? At least 20% of people with a mental illness have a co-occurring substance use problem. For people with schizophrenia, the number may be as high as 50%.  Knowing this, can we afford to add fuel to the fire by making an addictive, psychoactive drug legal?
Another factor for consideration is the inevitability of Cannabis-impaired driving. “While the devastating consequences of alcohol-impaired driving are well known, the percentage of Canadian drivers fatally injured in vehicle crashes and testing positive for drugs now exceeds that of drivers testing positive for alcohol” . Despite the fact that driving under the influence of cannabis increases chances of having a car crash by up to 300% , a portable saliva screening test for THC has yet to be distributed for use by law enforcement. Should this not have been addressed before legalization? At the present date, only direct blood testing is able to reveal the presence of Cannabis. Let us remember that driving after smoking Marijuana doubles the risk of a car crash, a risk that increases substantially if the driver has also had a drink. 
One seldom-asked question by those who champion the legalization of Marijuana is why, for years, has Cannabis been considered a ‘gateway drug’ and a dangerous substance? The CBC, ever helpful with promoting Liberal agendas, published an article titled ‘Marijuana was criminalized in 1923, but why?’  The article argues that the decision to ban Marijuana was essentially based on misconception and a historical blunder that lead to a 94 year prohibition. Cannabis, according to the CBC, was arbitrarily tacked onto a blacklist of other drugs, such as Opium and Heroin at the last minute by William Lyon Mackenzie King’s Liberal government. It had to do, many say, with hysteria created by a 1922 book, The Black Candle, written by Emily Murphy. 
But the true answer to why Cannabis was made illegal (when not spun by the CBC farce machine) may have something more to do with the fact that 10% of adults who regularly smoke the drug become dependent on it and that those who use it are more likely to go on to use harder drugs. Alternatively, it could be also that Cannabis users have systematically poorer academic performance. Heavy use in adolescence appears to impair intellectual development for life. Or, perhaps it has to do with the fact that people who are addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin. 
Although there are many strong opinions for and against the argument, most experts can agree that Cannabis use leads to an increased usage of drugs in general. The president of the Institute for Behavior & Health, Robert DuPont, argued this viewpoint in the New York Times:
Marijuana use is positively correlated with alcohol use and cigarette use, as well as illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. This does not mean that everyone who uses marijuana will transition to using heroin or other drugs, but it does mean that people who use marijuana also consume more, not less, legal and illegal drugs than do people who do not use marijuana. 
The conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe that the initiative to legalize Cannabis in Canada is actually another method of dumbing down an already stupid, insipid Canadian populace. When people become drug-addled, drunken, mentally and physically unwell and morally confused they naturally look to the government and the media, our ‘philanthropic leadership’, to decide what is right.
I am deeply suspicious of any government that actively strategizes and promotes the creation of a complacent, bovine citizenry for the sake of preserving their electorate. I am extremely wary of any system of control that, aware of potential risks, intentionally deranges people and promotes mental illness under the guise of ‘freedom of choice’.
The benevolence toward Cannabis mirrors the Liberal’s ‘progressive’ efforts to reform Canadian values and change other long-standing traditions without proper consideration. Politically correct truisms become policy and radical ideology replaces reason. We the people bore silent witness as our National Anthem fell beneath the wheel of feminism without opposition. Socialist governments are so eager to hand out sexual freedoms, to align mentally ill people with the sane, to champion feminist & homosexual agendas, and to ram wholesale immigration down Canadian’s throats. It must necessarily follow that giving the masses less restrictive access to Marijuana is the next logical step. The Liberals endorse progressive change with next to no foresight or wisdom, having only vague ideas of how to control the consequences while seldom considering enforcement.
Thus, October 17th, people will inevitably wave their Canada flags (sporting Cannabis leaves in place of the Maple Leaf, of course.) People will chant, hug one another, and clap each other on the back, sucking on their bongs and robot vape dicks and laughing idiotically. Canadians will cheer collectively as the Liberals, our Dr. Feelgood government, unwittingly sabotages what is left of our proud Canadian culture and erodes the foundations of our society. The common people will drift into a coerced normalization of drug culture, congratulating themselves (as the children of the ‘60’s once did) for their so-called ‘open-mindedness’, their ability to discard the restrictions of their forefathers.
And so I ask myself, when someday Canada awakens collectively on a metal slab in a harshly lit room, emaciated and wasting away, will we remember the day we made our deal with the Church of 4:20? As we stare vacantly, reaching unwittingly for salvation from what we have become, will we receive assistance from our fearless Liberal leaders… or a chloroform rag over the mouth? Who is going to save us when we all begin to fall from our tables to the floor? As Gerald Lawson Sittser once wrote: “Regret is… an unavoidable result of any loss, for in loss we lose the tomorrow that we needed to make right our yesterday or today” . Mark my words gentle reader; we will come to regret our misguided decision to legalize Marijuana use in Canada. We will be unable to make right our yesterday or today, of this I am certain.