Pubdate: Fri, 14 May 2010
Source: Interlake Spectator, The (CN MB)
Copyright: 2010 Sun Media
Author: Mike Krahn


In response to the letter "Mosher's on drugs" (Interlake Spectator,
April 30) by Sarah Truije of West St. Paul, my view is that your
opinions are laughable and the entire letter is completely missing the

Not only do you come down on Mr. Mosher for not putting forth the
right facts (which you forget to mention as well), but you really miss
the point of how thousands of ADULTS smoke pot everyday, enjoy it and
are responsible law-abiding citizens.

You mention a few schools but no actual studies or doctors, kind of an
old tactic no? Most reefer madness era studies have been discredited
by none other than the medical industry and present day studies; plus
you've got a synthetic drug for everything under the sun these days
and you're still worried about adults who smoke pot?

Your first claim is that one joint is worse than four cigarettes. What
friend of a friend did you hear that from? It is ludicrous to suggest
that one natural plant is more harmful than tobacco which is laced
with a mouthful of chemicals such as tar, arsenic, formaldehyde, (and
the list continues for thousands more).

Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA says that there are lung irritants involved
in any smoke. "Cannabis smoke caused mild irritation to the large
airways of the lungs. Symptoms disappear when smoking is discontinued,
unlike with cigarettes. However, unlike tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke
does not cause any changes in the small airways, the area where
tobacco smoke causes long term and permanent damage. Additionally, a
tobacco smoker will smoke 20-60 cigarettes a day, while a heavy
marijuana smoker may smoke 5-7 joints a day, even less when potent
high quality flower tops are available."

"Cannabis has over 400 compounds in its smoke and 60 are presently
known to have therapeutic value."

And: "In any event, cannabis has a positive or neutral effect on most areas
of the lung."

(Dr. Donald Tashkin, UCLA studies, 1969-97; UCLA Pulmonary Studies,

I'd also like to note that Dr. Tashkin has been the world's leading
expert on cannabis and lungs and has been studying this since Nixon.
Anyone with common sense can see the flaws in your claim and they
wouldn't last in any debate these days.

Secondly, you claim that marijuana has a negative effect on the brain,
again with no actual references. Professor Xia Zhang at The University
of Saskatchewan found that high-potency THC (the active chemical in
marijuana) injected into rats increased the rate of brain cell
formation in the hippocampus (neurogenesis) by an astounding 40%,
meaning THC produces brain cells. The rats also appeared to be less
susceptible to symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is an
opposite effect to alcohol, tobacco and most other legal drugs.

Next you say that marijuana smokers support organized crime. Sometimes
thinking outside the box can be very eye-opening when you start to
realize that it is the laws in place that are the true lifeline for
organized crime. Thanks to our present laws, the crime lords make
roughly $36 billion a year off something that can be taxed, regulated
and put back into the system like alcohol.

According to every economist on the planet and a group known as Leap
(Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) legalization will reduce crime
and free up much needed police resources. The U.S. has moved very
quickly reforming marijuana laws over the past few years and have
decriminalized it in 14 states. Denver, Colorado LEGALIZED in 2005.
California, Seattle and others are all pushing for the same thing.
Why? Because it's smart; people are suffering; the economy is
suffering and there are many more dangerous problems out there such as
crystal meth, obesity, diabetes, human trafficking, the child sex
trade, huge oil slicks, war, and even Conservative MPs who drive drunk
on cocaine, which surely ties the Conservatives to organized crime as
well, right?

Unfortunately Ms. Truijen, with our present system and old-age beliefs
we are undermining our kids' health and safety, and subverting the
will of freedom-valuing adults, by leaving the commerce of this
multibillion-dollar industry in the monopolized hands of ruthless drug
cartels and street traffickers. Now where's the morality in that?

Your gateway theory is as old as the rest of your statements and if it
were true no medical marijuana study in the past or present would ever
come to completion.

Lastly, yes, marijuana is illegal to grow and sell unless you have a
licence to do so, however here in Canada like the U.S. the personal
consumption of it for adults is not. Here in Canada we are allowed 30
grams of personal marijuana and in the U.S. 14 states allow you to
have 60 grams of personal marijuana.

The failed war on drugs was all about protecting children yet it is
easier for a 14-year-old to buy pot than a six-pack of beer or a pint
of whiskey. Unlike government-regulated liquor stores, drug dealers do
not card kids; their only interest is the hand-to-hand sale behind the
high school gym or in some back alley.

Thousands of adults enjoy marijuana everyday and something so natural
that has so many medicinal values should never have been made illegal
in the first place!

So thank you for taking the time to write a letter about a plant. I
just wonder if you've ever taken the time to write about important
issues like the staggering health problems related to obesity or
diabetes? Or like you say in your letter that buying marijuana
supports organized crime, so I ask you, Ms. Truijen, doesn't the
cocaine found on Rahim Jaffer directly link the entire Conservative
Party to organized crime as well? Now have you written about that?


Mike Krahn,

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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake