Pubdate: Wed, 05 Jul 2000
Source: Evening Courier (UK)
Copyright: 2000 The Halifax Courier Ltd.
Contact:  Mailbag, PO Box 19, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 2SF, England
Fax: +44-(0)1422-260341
Author: P. White
Note:  Letters for Mailbag, including those sent by e-mail, must contain
the writer's name and full postal address, although the complete address is
not normally published.


I WRITE in response to Philip Solan's letter ("Don't ignore drugs dangers", 
"Mailbag" June 30).  Cannabis may or may not have been a factor in calming 
English football fans in Holland; however Mr Solan is badly misinformed on 
several points of fact about the effects of cannabis.

Mr Solan refers to "unknown health hazards that cannabis users are 
submitting themselves to".  Cannabis has been extensively researched, 
particularly by the U.S. government, for the last 40 years.  We know more 
about cannabis than most prescription drugs we take or the foods that we eat.

Put simply, there are no more "hazards" left to discover.

Mr Solan also states that "many users are seriously debilitated for the 
rest of their lives.  This is simply nonsense.  The use of cannabis, even 
long term, poses no significant health risk.

The "drug dependency" to which Mr Solan refers does not really apply to 
cannabis.  Experts in the field of addiction rate cannabis as about as 
addictive as caffeine and far less addictive than alcohol and nicotine.

Even long-term heavy users of cannabis are able to quit the habit with only 
the mildest of withdrawal symptoms, which soon pass.

Also the old cliche that "cannabis leads to harder drugs", the so called 
"gateway theory", is stated as fact by Mr Solan.  There is no evidence to 
support this belief.  Scientists have been unable to find any causal link 
between the use of cannabis and the use of any other substance.

Mr Solan really should get his facts straight before accusing the "Evening 
Courier" or anyone else of printing "misleading" articles.

P. White
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