Pubdate: Sun, 08 Aug 2010
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2010 Canoe Limited Partnership
Contact:  http://www.ottawasun.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/329

SMOKING MARIJUANA FAR FROM HARMLESS

The debate about legalizing marijuana goes around every few years like
a joint in frat house on a Friday night.

This past week we fired it up again. An exclusive Leger Marketing poll
commissioned by QMI Agency shows that more than half of Canadians
believe marijuana possession should not be a crime.

That's a shame. Although possessing marijuana might appear to be a
minor offence, if one at all, no one should dispute the negative
impact marijuana addiction can have on people's lives, especially
young people.

Now before you pot-smoking, self-righteous readers write us that
marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, no more dangerous than
cigarettes, stop, put your roach down and relax.

Ask Greg Thomson, whose teenage son was killed by a drug-impaired
driver in 1999, how dangerous marijuana can be.

Ask the people who are waiting for a drug rehab bed.

Ask the parents of the kids who are listless, failing in school and
zoned out whether marijuana use is good for their families.

One could argue the word marijuana could easily be substituted with
alcohol. True.

But just because alcohol is legal doesn't mean Canada would benefit
from decriminalizing marijuana. Turning the feds into a super drug
dealer is no answer. Surely by that pretzel logic, we could solve all
crime simply by legalizing all offences.

No, turning Canada into the new Holland is not the way to
go.

As Ottawa Police Chief Vern White pointed out, today's pot isn't what
your hippie parents smoked 30 years ago. Levels of
tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance in pot, are about
four times higher today than what they were in the 1970s.

Marijuana for medicinal use is proving to be a benefit to some people.
We have no issue with that as long as it has the same tight control of
any other drug your doctor might prescribe.

But for recreational purposes? Please, we see no redeeming social
benefit to allowing people to smoke up whenever they want to.

We are with the chief on this one. Life is not a Cheech and Chong
movie and we have to have sober discussions about making pot laws more
lax. For now, we just can't dig it, dude.
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MAP posted-by: Matt