Pubdate: Thu, 05 Sep 2013
Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
Copyright: 2013 The Irish Times
Author: Seamus O'callaghan


Sir,  Joanne Hunt ("Is it time to legalise marijuana?", Health + 
Family, September 2nd) refers to a book with a dubious title, 
Marijuana is Safer: so why are we driving people to drink?

Most people are sensible enough to recognise the folly of the 
question and to realise that "We" are not forcing anyone to drink. 
People take alcohol and other drugs to alter their mood and 
perceptions, and with that comes the danger.

A study in the academic journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & 
Prevention, demonstrated that a marijuana cigarette deposits four 
times the amount of tar in the human respiratory tract than a tobacco 

The British Medical Journal indicated "drivers who consume cannabis 
within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a 
vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs 
or alcohol".

To try to justify marijuana on the basis that it "is less toxic, less 
addictive and less harmful for the body than alcohol" ignores a key 
fact (discovered by the Australian National Household Survey of 2001) 
that 95 per cent of cannabis users also drink alcohol.

Perhaps we could instead have an alternative article entitled "Is it 
time to drink more orange juice?" as it "is less toxic, less 
addictive and less harmful for the body that either alcohol or marijuana".

Yours, etc,

SEAMUS O'CALLAGHAN, Bullock Park, Carlow.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom