Pubdate: Fri, 05 Apr 2002
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2002, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Richard Cowan


Vancouver -- Your editorial Bogart That Joint (April 3) begins by urging 
parents to prepare themselves "by reviewing the evidence." So should editors.

Although the study defined "heavy use" as smoking five or more joints a 
week, it reported that "current heavy users" had smoked, on average, 14 
joints per week for three years. This is hardly typical. The study also 
reported "light current users" actually had gains in IQ of 5.8 points 
compared with only 2.6 points for non-users. That would seem to indicate 
that smoking five or fewer joints per week actually increases IQs! Would it 
work on editors? Seems worth trying.

You say "scientists now believe that today's highly potent marijuana 
(roughly five times as strong as that sold on the street 30 years ago) can 
be psychologically and physically habit-forming." Which scientists? The 
study notes, "Health Canada's analysis of marijuana seized by police 
between 1996 and 1999 . . . revealed an average of 5 per cent to 6 per cent 
THC." Was the cannabis smoked in the early 1970s really a placebo?

Notice that the study said nothing about the current heavy users suffering 
withdrawal even though "all subjects reported no use of marijuana on the 
day of testing."

Richard Cowan,

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