Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jul 2013
Source: Times, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2013 AVUSA, Inc.
Author: Jason McMillan
Page: 14


CONGRATULATIONS on an articulately written article, "Dagga: What's
the fuss about?" (July 7), but a few things need to be pointed out.

First, the article fails to raise any issues related to cannabis usage
other than that a few who use it might some day move on to other substances.

This can be likened to saying that someone who drinks coffee or, dare
I say, alcohol, will later start using other drugs. This is ridiculous.

As for prohibition, it is a violation of basic human rights and just
does not work. Thousands of taxpayers' money and a vast amount of
police resources are pumped into the massive dagga prohibition engine
while rape, murder and other actual crimes fall by the wayside.

For every bag of dagga seized, another will certainly be

Now, some real facts for your consideration:

Overall, 100 000 deaths occur each year due to the effects of

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there
were 43 443 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2005 in the US. As a
comparison, Aids claimed 18 000 lives in 2003.

Five percent of all deaths from diseases of the circulatory system are
attributed to alcohol.

About 15% of all deaths from diseases of the respiratory system are
attributed to alcohol.

About 30% of all deaths from accidents caused by fire and flames are
attributed to alcohol.

About 30% of all accidental drownings are attributed to alcohol. About
30% of all suicides are attributed to alcohol.

Nobody has ever overdosed or died as a result of smoking too much

A recent study proved that cannabis aids lung and breast cancer
sufferers, and does not cause any form of cancer.

Health studies prove there are no long-term health effects from
cannabis use.

Cigarettes kill 443 000 people a year in the US alone.

Doctors readily dish out medications, most of them far more toxic in
their prescribed dosages than any amount of dagga consumed. Even
caffeine, the commercial and largely unnoticed drug, is far more
menacing and addictive to the human body than cannabis.

Jason McMillan
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