Pubdate: Sat, 26 Mar 2005
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)

Author: Wayne Osborne


We need to take cannabis out of the hands of criminals.

When not used to further the agendas of criminals and law enforcement 
officers alike, cannabis is a relatively harmless creation of nature. That 
is, relative to the harm that criminal activity and the resulting War On 
Drugs has imposed upon society.

It wasn't cannabis that recently killed four police officers.

It was a violent criminal who was exploiting the illegal status of 
cannabis. It wasn't cannabis that broke down the doors of innocent people, 
killed their pets and traumatized their children.It was police officers 
with the wrong address.

Violence and criminal activity is hurting our society, not a simple plant 
called cannabis.

When not being exploited by criminals and the War On Drugs, cannabis can 
naturally supply us quality fibers for textiles, high quality foods, and 

Fibers from hemp cultivars are used for producing highly durable paper and 
fabrics, the environmental benefits alone make this worth further utilization.

As our society becomes more aware of the healthy protein and fatty acid 
profiles of our food supply, hemp seed is becoming more of an obvious 
source of nutrition - for both us and our livestock.

That combined with the numerous documented medicinal qualities, widespread 
access to cannabis seed and medicine could significantly reduce the 
financial stress load on our healthcare system.

This isn't to say that cannabis is totally harmless. It isn't.

While it can help some cancer patients fight their disease, I got to watch 
it hasten my own father's death.

He had lung cancer and because he didn't have access to quality information 
about marijuana and how to use it, he mistakenly smoked cannabis to fight 
the cancer instead of eating it.

Unfortunately for a case of lung cancer, smoking cannabis was like adding 
gasoline to a fire.

Maybe if the scientific and health communities could openly research, 
discuss, and recommend cannabis, my father would have had access to better 
advice and still be alive chasing his dreams.

Wayne Osborne,

Qualicum Beach
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