Bad message for young people
While decriminalising possession of marijuana may cut the backlog of cases in the courts, I feel very strongly that in doing so, our adolescents will be more encouraged to smoke larger quantities of the drug without the fear of being detained, which is at the moment the only deterrent.
Marijuana is more widely used than most people imagine. Very many believe this is a problem with our youth in troubled areas, but our young men in the prestige schools, and in middle and upper scale residential areas, are also heavy users. The former, however, are usually the ones searched by the police.
Scientific studies have shown that smoking marijuana from the teen years permanently damages the frontal lobe of the brain as the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25.
I saw a senior lawyer on television saying how much he agreed with the Chief Justice, and admitting, quite casually, that he too has smoked marijuana. The point is that after the age of 25 years, the effects are not in any way as serious as smoking in the teen years. I found it an unfortunate public statement to have made, as young people would think there is no danger.
I would like to see a serious effort made to educate our people as to the effects of marijuana, and the scientific studies being conducted to show the damage being done.