Pubdate: Mon, 05 Dec 2011
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Whelm King


Re: 'Proof is out there about harm from marijuana' (Daily News, Dec. 3)

Ms. Bruce's letter is somewhat disingenuous.

I wonder whether she actually read the research papers she cites and
whether she understands the implications of them. In their study,
Caspi et al specifically state cannabis is "not a major cause of
schizophrenia" and that "a historical rise in cannabis use would not
necessarily produce an observable increase in the prevalence of psychosis."

The study does say that cannabis "might be associated with earlier
onset of psychotic disorders" and thus "policy should discourage
adolescents' access to cannabis." Ferguson and Boden similarly
extrapolate that limiting youth access plays a role in overall
societal success later in life.

Myself and all other anti-prohibitionists could not agree more, which
is why we know that our path, currently being expedited by Harper's
omnibus crime bill, is dead wrong. Teens frequently report it is
easier to acquire cannabis than alcohol or illicit prescription drugs
(multiple studies and surveys, notably: National Center of Addiction
and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, August 2009).

This ease of access is due primarily to the illegal status of cannabis
and the black market that will always thrive when there is demand for
an illegal item. And make no mistake about it, no amount of harsh
penalties will end the black market supply, they in fact serve the
very opposite; and no amount of "just say no" will end the black
market demand, again it serves just the opposite.

If Ms. Bruce cares about preventing youth access, I expect her next
letter to be rallying against the prohibition that enables youth access.

Whelm King

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MAP posted-by: Matt