Pubdate: Thu, 22 Aug 2002
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2002, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Sam Mercer, Elizabeth Milton


By Sam Mercer

Victoria -- I was disappointed to see Dr. Raju Hajela, in criticizing the 
lack of scientific support for the medicinal use of marijuana, assert that 
"a single joint . . . is as harmful as 10 cigarettes."

This is a common and baseless anecdote often related by opponents of 
marijuana. The number varies with every telling, anywhere from four to 50. 
It is as remote from scientific truth as the old saw that toads cause warts.

Pot smoke probably does have some harmful effects -- but Dr. Hajela needs 
to practise what he preaches and bring empirical evidence, not myth, to the 
medicinal-marijuana debate.

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By Elizabeth Milton

Victoria -- Addressing doctors at the annual Canadian Medical Association 
meetings, Health Minister Anne McLellan is reported to have said she owed 
it to Canadians to ensure that all therapeutic drugs be rigorously tested 
before approval and use (Ottawa Shelves Medicinal Pot -- Aug. 20).

Too bad such pious concern about the adequacy of research fundamentals was 
not extended by her ministry or the CMA to the use of hormone-replacement 
therapy by 1.2 million Canadian women.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens