Pubdate: Fri, 02 May 2003
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Philippe Lucas
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor, headline by newshawk


RE "O Cannabis" (April 27): I congratulate you on such an in-depth article 
about the failure of Canada's cannabis prohibition, although I take 
exception with Dr. Raju Hajela's inaccurate and misinformed comments 
regarding the recreational use of cannabis.

He suggests that there can be "devastating consequences" to people trying 
cannabis even once; he must mean the munchies, because unlike alcohol, 
tobacco, or even aspirin there has never been a single death attributed to 
the use of marijuana in over 3,000 years of recorded use.

Furthermore, many recent studies suggest that cannabis may actually possess 
anti-carcinogenic properties (P. Massi et al., 1998; Stig O. P. Jacobsson 
et al., 2000; I. Galve-Roperh et al., 2001).

Finally, Dr. Hajela discounts himself completely by stating rather 
cryptically that the wrong message about cannabis is getting out to the 
public because "there are a lot of marijuana smokers amongst the media." 
Yikes! And they say that marijuana makes users paranoid!

This kind of alarmist misinformation would be laughable if it didn't lead 
to such expensive, corrupt, and ineffective policies. From the 1972 Ledaine 
Commission on, every major public or private study that has ever looked at 
our drug policy has recommended relaxing our cannabis laws. It's high time 
for a little bit of truth about marijuana use!

Philippe Lucas

Director of Communications


(Ah, we miss the days when we were only accused of being a bunch of drunks
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