Pubdate: Thu, 12 Aug 2004
Source: Aldergrove Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Central Fraser Valley Star Publishing Ltd.
Author: Bruce Symington


Editor, The Star:

I must respond to Frank G. Sterle's letter in the Aug. 5 Star, in
which he responded to Alan Randell's anti prohibition, pro freedom

Why? Because as a continuing pot consumer, I and many friends who are
otherwise normal, taxpaying, mini-busing the kids to the soccer game
types can attest, what he says is humbug.

He says there is permanent damage to his body and mind from smoking
pot. Well, we find that the only damage is a little cough and wheezing
if we overdo it.

He cites the Guardian newspaper's article about a Dutch psychiatrist
who noted that schizophrenics who smoke "a lot of cannabis" did more
poorly than those who did not. Duh. Anybody who gets totally messed up
on cannabis all day can expect it to interfere with life. That's what
"a lot" means.

It's like alcohol. A beer after work is OK, but a three-martini lunch
pretty well finishes the day. Really, the connection between cannabis
and psychosis is subject to interpretation. Do people with problems
self medicate with pot? Are the people affected simply "on the edge"
and cannabis just happens to be what tips them over, whereas it could
as easily have been the flickering of the TV screen?

Could adulterants have been the real cause? What role is played by
paranoia and fear of arrest in their mindset? If it does indeed have a
negative mental effect, is keeping it illegal making this situation
better or worse?

In his last paragraph, he challenges Mr. Randell to justify making pot
legal on "practical grounds." I would challenge Mr. Sterle to justify
keeping pot illegal on practical or any other rational, logical level.
Our Senator Nolin's commission reviewed all the facts available, and
came to the logical, practical solution that cannabis be made legal
for adults. I find no fault with their logic, their analysis of the
data, or their conclusions. I challenge Mr. Sterle to refute any of
these with logic and analysis.

Bruce Symington

Medicine Hat, Alberta
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin