Please Support Canadian Cannabis Law Reform with LTEs Now!
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DrugSense FOCUS Alert # 265 April 19, 2003
Last Sunday, most the Sun newspapers ran an intensive article "O Cannabis" on Canadian cannabis use and the failure of our current drug policy:
Calgary Sun http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03.n597.a07.html Toronto Sun http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03.n598.a07.html Edmonton Sun http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03.n598.a05.htm and the Ottawa Sun http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03.n601.a03.html.
And the London Free Press ran a short version under the title "High Times" http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03/n598/a02.html
In the article, the author chose to quote many sources. Some, such as the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, are highly reliable; others such as Police Chief Julian Fantino and Dr. Raju Hajela, a past president of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, are less so. Dr. Hajela expresses misinformed concerns about the potential harms of cannabis, including that it leads to schizophrenia. Chief Fantino suggests that we need to maintain prohibition in order to control the black market, completely ignoring that it is our cannabis laws that cause the profitability black market in the first place.
If we are ever to have an enlightened discussion about drug policy in Canada, the first thing that we need to do is correct this kind of misinformation. I urge you to contact the Sun papers and correct those who would ignore science and reason. Truth is on our side, now let's pass it on!
Thanks for your effort and support.
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It's not what others do it's what YOU do
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This is VERY IMPORTANT as it is one very effective way of gauging our impact and effectiveness.
To see the actual nearly identical, except for sidebars at the bottom, "O Cannabis / High Times" articles please click the links above. The Sun newspapers are running a whole series of cannabis related articles this week, many of which are good targets for Letters to the Editor. Here is a list of the Sun Newspapers (Sun Media Corporation, Canoe Limited Partnership), their Letter to the Editor email address, and a link which will bring up the recent drug policy related items printed in each of the newspapers:
Calgary Sun http://www.mapinc.org/source/Calgary+Sun
Toronto Sun http://www.mapinc.org/source/Toronto+Sun
Edmonton Sun http://www.mapinc.org/source/Edmonton+Sun
Ottawa Sun http://www.mapinc.org/source/Ottawa+Sun
London Free Press http://www.mapinc.org/source/London+Free+Press
Only the Winnipeg Sun appears not to have printed the "O Cannabis" article but is printing others in the series: http://www.mapinc.org/source/Winnipeg+Sun
Now, and the weeks ahead, Letters to the Editor of Canadian newspapers from both Canadians and cannabis activists around the world are most important.
The Canadian Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a charter challenge case involving three appellants that challenges the criminalization of marijuana possession on May 6th.
The federal government is poised to take its swing with new legislation expected in June which would decriminalize marijuana possession. Early indications are that Justice Minister Martin Cauchon would decriminalize the possession of 30 grams of cannabis, or less - less than an ounce - making it subject to fines. Letter writers are needed to tell the media that such a tiny step is not enough! Only a legal, regulated market for adults, as recommended by the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, is appropriate.
Please bookmark these links, which will bring up target news items - both today and in the weeks ahead - and write as many letters as possible. By your efforts we can influence the debate in Canada, and perhaps the end result. But it will take an extra effort on the part of all cannabis activists to make it happen.
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mjcn.htm (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmjcn.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)
(Please note If you choose to use this letter as a model please modify it at least somewhat so that the paper does not receive numerous copies of the same letter and so that the original author receives credit for his/her work.)
This letter is in response to the "O Canada" article written by Jason Botchford that appeared in Sunday's Sun newspapers.
I congratulate you on such an in depth article about the failure of Canada's cannabis prohibition, although I take exception with Dr. Raju Hajela's alarmist and inaccurate comments regarding the recreational use of cannabis.
He suggests that there can be "devastating consequences" to people trying cannabis even once; he must mean the munchies, because unlike alcohol, tobacco, or even aspirin there has never been a single death attributed to the use of marijuana in over 3000 years of recorded use.
Furthermore, many recent studies suggest that cannabis may actually possess anti-carcinogenic properties (P. Massi et al, 1998; Stig O. P. Jacobsson et al, 2000; I. Galve-Roperh et al, 2001).
Finally, Dr. Hajela discounts himself completely by stating rather cryptically that the wrong message about cannabis is getting out to the public because "there are a lot of marijuana smokers amongst the media". Yikes! And they say that marijuana makes users paranoid!
This kind of alarmist misinformation would be laughable if it didn't lead to such expensive, corrupt, and ineffective policies. From the 1972 LeDain Commission on, every major public or private study that has ever looked at our drug policy has recommended relaxing our cannabis laws. It's high time for a little bit of truth about marijuana use!
Philippe Lucas Victoria, BC, Canada
IMPORTANT: Always include your address and telephone number so that the newspapers may verify that you actually wrote the letter.
ADDITIONAL INFO To Help You in Your Letter Writing Efforts, Please See
Writer's Resources http://www.mapinc.org/resource/
References You May Find of Value:
The well documented cannabis related facts at http://www.drugwarfacts.org/ http://www.drugwardistortions.org/ and http://marijuanainfo.org/
While it is a huge report, using quotes from the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs report will have special value to Canadians. To find material for quotes, use the links at http://cannabislink.ca/gov/#SENATE
Just DO It!!
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Prepared by Philippe Lucas DrugSense Focus Alert Specialist
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