Pubdate: Tue, 24 Apr 2012
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Times Colonist
Author: Whelm King


Re: "Education needed about marijuana," April 22.

Cannabis is one of the oldest, most revered medicines in history 
having been used by everyone from kings, queens and emperors to 
peasants and wise women for thousands of years. To call cannabis 
"noxious" is to misunderstand history and science.

Smoking cannabis is not more carcinogenic than tobacco. In 2007, 
Harvard researchers published a study that shows THC, the active 
ingredient in marijuana, reduces tumour growth in lung cancer by 50 
per cent. In 2012, researchers at the University of California San 
Francisco found that moderate cannabis smokers are no more likely to 
get lung cancer than non-smokers, compared with a huge increase in 
likelihood found in tobacco smokers.

The letter-writer mentions anecdotal points such as the potency of 
cannabis, usage while driving and preventing access to children, all 
of which are exemplary reasons to end prohibition and regulate 
cannabis. It is exclusively due to prohibition that children can 
access cannabis more easily than alcohol and tobacco (2009 Columbia 
University study). Increased potency is a red herring, as cannabis 
smokers simply smoke much less to gain the same effects as decades 
ago, and while no rational person supports intoxicated driving, 
prohibition does nothing to solve this issue, whereas regulation and 
control can only be of benefit.

I want to explain to my children that my government based its 
decisions on science and reason, not myths and pseudo-scientific claims.

Whelm King Victoria
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