Pubdate: Tue, 29 Apr 2003
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Harry D. Fisher


Dear Editor,

Frank G. Sterle, Jr., wrote "People with schizophrenia who consumed a lot 
of cannabis had a much worse outcome than those who didn't." [Harmless 
assumptions legitimized, April 25 Letters to the Editor, Langley Advance News]

I don't believe those patients smoked cannabis in order to feel worse, not 
better. Obviously, here the term "outcome" has a different meaning for the 
patient than for the doctor, unlike in illnesses like an inflamed appendix. 
There is no doubt about the "outcome" of an appendicitis: either you have 
surgery or die.

With schizophrenia, the patient can say, "I smoke cannabis because it makes 
me feel better," while the doctor says, "No, you don't feel better, you 
just think you feel better, while in reality, you're worse."

But of course, Sterle's letter isn't really about schizophrenics at all. He 
is waving a veil before our eyes, trying to mislead the reader to form a 
negative opinion about cannabis.

Needless to say, millions upon millions of non-schizophrenic pot smokers 
enjoy the good weed without "bad outcomes," other than being treated as 
fair game and feed for the police.

As for the "impressionable youth," ever the pretext since at least 
Socrates, Mr. Sterle need not worry. They are quite capable of unraveling 
his simple sophistry.

Harry D. Fisher
Woodland Hills, CA, USA
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