Pubdate: Wed, 31 Jul 2002
Source: Goldstream Gazette (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Goldstream Gazette
Author: Matt Elrod
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Thank-you for advocating cannabis law reform, not to be confused with
advocating cannabis use or abuse.  However, your editorial contained a few
minor errors and misconceptions.

You wrote, "pot...interferes with good judgement in other ways, such as
increasing the chance of the user engaging in unprotected sex with a

Cannabis usually increases inhibitions. Gents wishing to loosen up their
dates should remember that "candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker." Stoned
drivers tend to overestimate their level of impairment, drive more slowly
and take fewer risks.  Alcohol has the opposite effect.

There is little evidence to suggest that driving while under the influence
of marijuana is an actual problem in society.

Cannabis is more often than not a substitute for alcohol and other drugs.
Where cannabis has been decriminalized, drug and alcohol-related accidents
and emergency room cases have gone down.

You stated that "use of a recreational drug...has always started in legal
obscurity, only to be made illegal when the drug becomes popular."

Canada prohibited cannabis in 1923 after Emily Murphy reported that users
"become raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any form of
violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty
without...any sense of moral responsibility."

No one was convicted of a cannabis offence until 1937 and the annual
conviction rate fluctuated between 0 and 12 for the following 20 years.

I agree  that cannabis should be regulated like alcohol, however, cannabis
is orders of magnitude less harmful than alcohol to both users and society.

Matthew M. Elrod 
Metchosin, B.C.
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