Pubdate: Sat, 02 Feb 2013
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Glenda Allard Barr


I write in regard to your item "U.S. pot opponents focus on risks to 
brain health."

It is appalling to see conclusions drawn haphazardly and interpreted 
in a way that suits the purpose of those trying to strike fear into 
the hearts of the public.

The article states that heavy users of cannabis are six times more 
likely to develop schizophrenia. Have they considered that perhaps 
people struggling with schizophrenia are six times more likely to 
experiment with cannabis, in a desperate search for something that 
might help them function better? It is not at all surprising that 
individuals with mental health issues, who may be undiagnosed, or who 
have found the side effects of pharmaceuticals to be unbearable, 
would seek something that might help.

We cannot draw conclusions and incite fear because of the results of 
highly flawed surveys.

The article focuses on teenagers, and another flaw in this approach 
is that in the quest for the end to this prohibition era, which 
afflicts our society with crime and violence, just as alcohol 
prohibition did, is that people speaking out for re-legalization are 
not asking to make cannabis available to teens! Introducing taxation 
and regulation would make it more difficult for minors to obtain cannabis.

Let's get real in our approach to this issue, and stop manipulating 
statistics to encourage the continuation of this barbaric, costly drug war.

Glenda Allard Barr

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