Pubdate: Thu, 14 Jul 2016
Source: Daily Courier, The (CN BC)
Page: A7
Copyright: 2016 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: D.M. John


To the editor: Why are the Liberals thinking of legalizing marijuana? 
Is it possible that they don't know what's on their own website where 
Health Canada has posted serious warnings against its use - 
particularly, for anyone under the age of 25? (Health Canada consumer 
information cannabis)

Is the government blind to the following detrimental effects of 
legalization in places like Colorado?

- - Increased use: An April 2016 report by the Colorado Department of 
Public Safety found that although high school use dropped slightly, 
use by 18 to 25 year olds increased from 21 per cent in 2006 to 31 
per cent in 2014 while use by adults doubled.

- - Increased Emergency visits: As reported in a June 2014 article in 
the New England Journal of Medicine, between 2004 and 2011, marijuana 
was associated with a 100 per cent increase in the number of 
emergency department visits in the U.S. to 129,000 when used alone 
and a 62 per cent increase to 327,000 visits when used in conjunction 
with other drugs.

- - Automobile fatalities: Colorado began the process of legalization 
for medical use in 2006, and since 2013 has implemented full legalization.

Data gathered by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Trafficking Area 
in Colorado reported a rise in marijuana-related traffic deaths of 92 
per cent from 2010 to 2014.

- - Psychosis: The American Psychiatric Association's official 
statement cites a strong association of cannabis use with the onset 
of psychiatric disorders and finds that adolescents are particularly 
vulnerable to harm. Health Canada has issued similar warnings.

- - Gateway drug: Marijuana is a gateway drug. Rarely do law 
enforcement agents meet heroin or cocaine addicts who did not start 
their drug use with marijuana. For example, the Journal of American 
Medical Association reported that based on a study of 300 sets of 
twins, the marijuana-using twin was four times more likely than their 
sibling to use cocaine.

Is the Liberal government unaware that B.C. recently declared a 
public health emergency after a dramatic increase in deaths from 
illicit drugs in the first three months of 2016? And, does their 
adherence to ideology trump the harm that will result to young 
Canadians from cannabis use?

D.M. John, Vernon
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom