Pubdate: Mon, 30 Jul 2007
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Robert Sharpe


Margret Kopala has no understanding of science. She begins her column
with the claim that "one in four cannabis users is genetically at risk
for developing schizophrenia." Unless there is a genetic basis for
cannabis use, this statement doesn't make sense. Ms. Kopala could have
made the absurd claim that one in four people is at risk of developing
schizophrenia. She could also have legitimately warned readers that
people with a predisposition toward schizophrenia should not smoke
cannabis. Instead, she opted for "reefer madness" hyperbole.

The exacerbation of schizophrenia by self-medication applies to all
mind-altering drugs. The scientific literature on co-occurring alcohol
use disorder and schizophrenia is vast, yet I don't hear Ms. Kopala or
the Conservative party calling for a reinstatement of alcohol
prohibition. The potent-pot myth is being pushed by shameless culture
warriors who seemingly have no understanding of how cannabis is
actually consumed.

The difference between strong and weak cannabis is that strong
cannabis requires significantly less smoke inhalation to achieve the
desired effect. It's actually less harmful.

Robert Sharpe,

Washington, D.C., Policy analyst,

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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