Pubdate: Sat, 17 Sep 2005
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Harvey Davey
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Re: We need the truth about marijuana, SEPT. 15.

We always need research on marijuana. However, there has been a great deal 
of it done already.

The Ontario Student Drug Use Survey started by the Addiction Research 
Foundation in 1977 has been continued by the Centre for Addictions and 
Mental Health. Many hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of young 
people have used marijuana in high school over the past quarter century.

Most have had no long-term negative consequences. The evidence suggests 
that abuse problems are most likely among those with learning disabilities, 
hyperactivity and attention problems (Textbook of Substance Abuse 
Treatment, 1994).

The four-volume, 650-page report in 2002 from the Senate Special Committee 
on Illegal Drugs examined major studies from 1969, 1970, 1977, 1982, 1994 
and 1995.

No study concluded that marijuana triggers permanent illness in adolescents.

There is no evidence that criminalization reduced use but considerable 
evidence that education and information did.

During the 1980s, there was a decline in use. That is when substance abuse 
resource teachers were funded in every Ontario public high school. The 
funding ended in the early '90s and use started to rise again. 
Unfortunately, it is the politicians who oppose change who are not making 
informed decisions.

Harvey Davey,

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