Pubdate: Sat, 21 Sep 2002
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Guelph Mercury Newspapers Limited
Author: Grant G.O. Duncan


Dear Editor - Once again, somebody has missed the point. Carol Anne Brett, 
who wrote the letter "Report on Marijuana Lists the Dangers", states many 
of the well known dangers of cannabis use (as were covered in the Senate 
Committee's report on cannabis).

However, she fails to answer the most fundamental of all questions 
regarding our current anti-cannabis laws: Is it right to punish those 
caught using the drug with jail time and the horrible stigma of a criminal 

Ms. Brett fails to address the fact that cannabis has fewer side effects 
than most prescription medicines, a lower abuse potential than coffee or 
alcohol or tobacco and has never directly caused a fatality in it's 
4,000-plus year history.

Furthermore, she misquotes a part of the report; THC does not stay in the 
user's body for up to 30 days after use, THC metabolites stay in the body. 
These metabolites are not psychoactive (THC on the other hand is 
psychoactive); in effect they have less physiological impact than eating a 
vitamin 'C' tablet.

Also, what is she trying to infer by stating that cannabis "...was involved 
in 70 per cent of the approximately 50,000 drug related charges in 
1999..."? Wouldn't this statistic alone support at the very least the 
decriminalization of cannabis?

Imagine how many hours the police must spend to arrest, investigate and 
charge 35,000 non-violent cannabis consumers. How much of our tax dollars 
are going to continue to go to cannabis prohibition while violent crime, 
theft and other victim-causing crimes continue unabated in our cities and 

Cannabis is as safe as a psychoactive substance can get (even aspirin 
produces fatalities) and yet we still adhere to the policy that it's use 
must be stamped out.

Why? Certainly not because of its "side effects" else we would be banning 
alcohol, tobacco, aspirin, pain medication, coffee, etc.; the list goes on 
and on and on. It is time we all grew up and realized that cannabis 
legalization (or decriminalization) will not destroy our society; there are 
many more important things we should all be worrying about.

Grant G.O. Duncan

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