Pubdate: Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Source: Penticton Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: D.M. John
Page: A7


Dear 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

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

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

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt