Pubdate: Tue, 22 Jul 2003
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Page: A14
Copyright: 2003, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Matthew M. Elrod
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Victoria -- That Health Canada neglected to suggest alternatives forms of 
ingestion to smoking in their new cannabis manual is inexcusable (Health 
Canada Readies Release Of Dope Manual -- July 21).

The B.C. Compassion Club Society and the Vancouver Island Compassion 
Society gave a joint (no pun intended) presentation to Health Canada's 
advisory committee last May. Club representatives explained the pros and 
cons of baked goods and tinctures and demonstrated the use of a vaporizer, 
a smokeless inhalation device.

That medical associations claim ignorance is equally inexcusable. The 
research dossier on cannabis is more robust than that of many long-used 
drugs, including aspirin, acetaminophen, digitalis, codeine, morphine, 
penicillin, thyroxine, and vitamin B12. Cannabis has been safely used 
around the world for millennia. Cultures have cooked with it for 
generations. A pill containing the most active ingredient, THC, has been 
legally prescribed for more than a decade.

Teens consistently report that cannabis is easier to obtain than beer. The 
Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission recently reported that 
high-school seniors are almost twice as likely to try cannabis as 
cigarettes. Surely doctors should already be familiar with the side 
effects, contra-indications and drug interactions, regardless of Health 
Canada's court-ordered effort to facilitate medicinal use.
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager