Pubdate: Thu, 25 Nov 1999
Source: Powell River Peak (CN BC)
Copyright: 1999 Peak Publishing Ltd.
Contact:  4400 Marine Ave, Powell River, BC V8A 2K1 Canada
Author: Norm Siefken


It really bothers me to see the school board attacking BC's lenient
marijuana laws ["They protest," At the school board table, October
30]. I have found in the past that people who criticize marijuana
users are often hypocritical users of a much more harmful substance:
legal alcohol.

As an emergency medical worker for 20 years, I have seen many overdose
victims, including those from alcohol.

Excessive drinking can lead to coma and death, but I have never seen
anyone overdose on cannabis, nor have I found any such cases in the
medical journals.

The impact of alcohol in emergency departments is well-known. We see
drunk-driving accidents and fatalities on a regular basis.

A lot of violent behaviour such as fights and spousal abuse is
triggered by drinking. Chronic and legal alcohol use leads to many
horrible diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver.

Cannabis is harmless by comparison. Pot smokers are well-known for
their peaceful "mellow" behaviour, and non-violent nature.

Why should anyone respect the hypocritical marijuana laws?
The millions of Canadians who prefer marijuana instead of
alcohol have made the healthier choice. The Lancet: a
leading medical journal: stated in 1995 that "the use of
cannabis, even long-term use, is not harmful to health." We
now know that ordinary table salt is more toxic than marijuana.

The school board should abandon their outdated and misinformed crusade
against the harmless marijuana plant.

Norm Siefken
Chilliwack, BC
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