Vancouverites light up for 420, effect on kids still hazy
CTV British Columbia
Published Saturday, April 20, 2013 8:56PM PDT
Thousands sparked up at the Vancouver Art Gallery Saturday to rally for relaxed pot laws, while concerns lingered over how the drug’s widespread support affects kids.
New research shows Canadian teenagers are smoking more cannabis than in any other developed country.
The Unicef report found nearly one-third of 15-year-olds admitted to smoking marijuana.
Mackenzie Rendall, 17, said she smokes pot and that her parents are generally okay with it.
“They’re really open with me, they’re very accepting and let me make decisions for myself,” she said. “They know that coming here and smoking weed isn’t going to put me in nearly as much harm’s way as going behind their back and doing it.”
The Vancouver School Board warned parents earlier this week to talk to their kids about staying away from the massive pot protest at the art gallery, saying they don’t know what the consequences of attending could be.
“A lot of them have no experience with marijuana so they have no idea the level and the effect of it, and can get themselves into serious problems,” said board trustee Ken Denike.
He said kids’ motor skills are affected by weed and they could be more susceptible to accidents when under the influence.
But most British Columbians support the taxing and regulation of marijuana, a recent Angus-Reid poll has found, and don’t want the drug banned.
“B.C. residents are looking at marijuana more in the same fashion they look at alcohol,” said Angus-Reid spokesman Mario Canseco. “[They’re saying] ‘why are we going through all of these difficulties – crime, wars, violence – in order to get something that a lot of people enjoy?’”
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Roberts