Pubdate: Fri, 29 Nov 2002
Source: Thunder Bay Post (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Thunder Bay Post
Author: Clint Babula


The Editor,

In his one man's opinion article (Editorials) on November 22, Rick
Smith makes the false claims that marijuana use is more harmful than
other drugs such as tobacco and is more likely to cause violence,
compared to alcohol. The World Health Organization(WHO) released a
study in March 1998. It states: "there are good reasons for saying
that [the risks from cannabis] would be unlikely to seriously[compare
to] the public health risk of alcohol and tobacco even if as many
people used cannabis as now drink alcohol or smoke tobacco."

The authors of a 1998 WHO report that compared marijuana, alcohol,
nicotine and opiates quote the Institute of Medicine's 1982 report
stating that there is no evidence that smoking marijuanna "exerts a
permanently deleterious effect on the normal cardiovascular system."

The WHO study of 1998 showed on most points that cannabis was
considered less harmful to health than alcohol, and that cannabis
played little role in injuries caused by violence, unlike alcohol.

In the USA, in 1972, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug
Abuse concluded, "Rather than inducing violent and aggressive behavior
through its purported effects of lowering inhibitions, weakening
impulse control and heightening aggressive tendencies, marijuana was
usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses by
pacifying the user, interfering with muscular coordination, reducing
psychomotor activities and generally producing states of drowsiness
lethargy, timidity and passivity."

The WHO study of March 1998, noted the effects of prohibition of
marijuana when it stated, "exposure to other drugs when purchasing
cannabis on the black market, increases the opportunity to use other
illicit drugs."

Clint Babula,
Thunder Bay
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake