Pubdate: Fri, 30 Dec 2016
Source: Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Cornwall Standard Freeholder
Author: Herb Couch
Page: A6


Re: "Time to treat addiction as a mental health issue," Dec. 27, 2016.

I would certainly agree with Chris Nelson cannabis should be
legalized. Cannabis prohibition has been a complete failure. He is
correct when he says that drug prohibition is "among the deadliest and
costliest exercises society has tried."

Regulating cannabis is a much better approach to take.

We must also recognize accurate, scientific, reality-based information
is necessary in order for people to make informed decisions about
cannabis use.

It is important to not spread misinformation about cannabis to the

Unfortunately, there are three areas where Nelson is terribly
misinformed about cannabis:

1. The plant should be called cannabis. Nelson should not be using
slang terms like dope, weed, stuff, pot, or marijuana.

The final report of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and
Regulation states, "We believe it is more appropriate to use the term
cannabis when engaging in a serious discussion of the goals and
features of a new regulatory system for legal access."

2. When it comes to safety, all drugs are not the same. Cannabis is a
much safer choice than alcohol, commercial tobacco, or fentanyl.

No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. Compare that fact with
the many thousands and thousands of deaths from alcohol, tobacco, and
fentanyl use.

Nelson makes the absurd statement, "arguing that smoking dope is safer
than drinking booze is akin to stating that getting shot in the leg is
preferable to taking one in the head."

Cannabis use is not getting shot in the leg. That is just a silly,
exaggerated reefer madness scare tactic.

3. There is a big difference between drug use and misuse. All drug use
is not an addiction or a mental health issue.

Of course, any substance use involves risk. It is important to talk
about alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, fentanyl and other drugs in a
sophisticated manner and distinguish between use and abuse.

The vast majority of people who use cannabis, use it in a responsible
manner. For many people it is a valuable medicine.

Cannabis use is really a health issue and civil rights

Let's legalize and regulate cannabis, right now, and encourage honest,
scientific, compassionate, health and evidence-based information and
education. That will help people make wise choices.

Herb Couch

Nelson, B.C.
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