Pubdate: Tue, 13 Nov 2001
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2001 The StarPhoenix
Author: Ken Sailor


The story Lithium touted to ease withdrawal from pot (SP Nov. 3) surprised me.

While I know of controversial research on rats suggesting marijuana to be 
addictive, I have never met anyone who complained of marijuana withdrawal.

Who could argue if Dr. Xia Zhang's work eases anyone's pain? I, however, 
prefer the Canadian Medical Association's prescription for our problems 
with marijuana: decriminalization.

The CMA argues that the worst effect of marijuana is not health-related but 
the criminal record if one is caught. Surely, our doctors would know if 
marijuana caused worse problems than arrest and imprisonment. In the wacky 
world of prohibition, doctors are not the authorities on health.

And prohibition truly is wacky. While marijuana use among teenagers is 
common, prohibitionists argue that prohibition is working and that we must 
maintain prohibition to protect our children!

While marijuana use is less frequent where marijuana is not prohibited, 
prohibitionists argue that legalization would lead to increased use.

While a new Australian study has confirmed Canadian, U.S. and British 
studies indicating no relation between marijuana and traffic accidents, 
prohibitionists argue that legalization would make our roads more dangerous.

Honestly, does prohibition impair a person's ability to reason?

Fortunately, change is coming. The most recent country to begin dis 
mantling prohibition is Britain, where the government plans to downgrade 
marijuana to a Class C drug and to stop arresting people for possession.

Britain, too, has allowed research of medical marijuana and the preliminary 
results, as reported by The Guardian, suggest that 80 per cent of those 
taking part in the study have derived more benefit from cannabis than from 
any other drug, with many describing marijuana's effects as "miraculous."

The time has come for change here as well. It is time to stop manufacturing 
problems and dismantle the horrible machinery of prohibition.

Ken Sailor

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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart