Pubdate: Thu, 22 Dec 2011
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011, Whelm King
Author: Whelm King


To the Editor,

Re: Trustee's past not something to laugh off, Letters, Dec. 15.

Madeline Bruce continues her recent pattern of using shoddy science 
and misunderstood claims to justify her beliefs.

She cites Carol Falkowski, who claims 100,000 people a year seek 
treatment for cannabis addiction in the U.S.

Leaving aside the fact that this assertion is not backed up by hard 
data and that Falkowski is a heavily biased source, what Bruce fails 
to recognize is that in the U.S., the vast majority of all those 
seeking rehabilitation for "'marijuana addiction' are doing so for 
the sole reason that they have been brought to trial for possession 
of a small amount of the drug, wherein they are given the choice to 
go to jail and have a criminal record, or to declare they are 
"'addicted' and seek treatment.

According to the U.S. justice deptartment website, "The criminal 
justice system actually serves as the largest referral source for 
drug treatment programs."

What Bruce mistakenly feels is an epidemic, is actually just 
thousands of happy people who enjoy smoking cannabis who have been 
criminalized by unjust laws and opt, understandably, to mitigate 
their punishment by seeking treatment.

No doubt Falkowski knows this but chooses to be deceptive; Bruce 
seems simply clueless of the bigger picture.

As for keeping cannabis out of the hands of children, the only method 
to accomplish this is to legalize and regulate it.

It is easier for high school kids to get cannabis than alcohol or 
illicit prescription drugs.

Why? They are regulated, whereas Bruce and her ilk would prefer 
cannabis to be left in the hands of gangs who do indeed prey on children.

Whelm King

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