Pubdate: Tue, 07 Apr 2015
Source: Sherwood Park News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 Osprey Media
Author: James Bodie


The lunacy of continuing to pursue the so-called "War on Drugs" after 
over 50 years of failure, with its massive cost in lives lost, lives 
wasted, lives ruined, and billions of dollars spent, compels me to 
say something: there is a better way.

Last May, the Genuis-Banks debate on the legalization of marijuana 
got me started on a path of discovery. I would like to share a little 
of what I have learned.

In 1972, the LeDain Commission recommended repeal of the prohibition 
against simple possession of cannabis and cultivation for personal use.

In 2002, the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs "found that 
(cannabis) should be legalized."

Interested persons should read the 2013 report of the Canadian Drug 
Policy Coalition, called Getting to Tomorrow, which contrasts the 
negatives of drug prohibition with the positives of individual harm reduction.

Specifically with regard to medical marijuana, I suggest reading the 
transcript of a Witness Seminar held by the Welcome Trust Centre for 
the History of Medicine at UCL, London (England) on March 24, 2009, 
called The Medicalization of Cannabis.

Cannabis has been used by the human race as medicine for thousands of 
years. Currently in Canada, 40,000 Canadians have licenses from 
Health Canada to buy it and use it as medicine, some even to grow it 
under the old MMAR regulations. The number of people in Canada 
actually using it as medication, without a Health Canada licence, is 
probably several times that.

With respect to recreational use, the number of people who prefer 
marijuana over wine for relaxation, or just as a recreational 
activity, numbers in the millions world wide. But the sky has not 
fallen. Millions of people are not going mad, dying or getting sick 
from cannabis use.

The "reefer madness" of the 1930s and '40s has been shown to be a 
massive hoax, perpetrated on the United States and then on the world 
for reasons that are well documented, but that I don't have space to 
enumerate here.

Someone said "the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same 
thing over and over, expecting a different result each time."

Let's try something else. The recommendations in the Canadian Drug 
Policy Coalition report referred to above would be a good place to start.

James Bodie

Sherwood Park
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