Source: Toronto Star 
Pubdate: 12 Jan 1998
Editors note: There were no LTEs on the NO side of the question. Over half
of these letters are by participants in MATTALK, the discussion list of the
Canadian Media Awareness Project:


Re: Should pot be legalized? by Seeman and Seeman, January 5, 1997, OpEd.

I have to chuckle whenever learned men like Neil Seeman and Philip Seeman
(who oppose legalizing marijuana) prattle on about the need to prove the
medical efficacy and safety of cannabis.

Cannabis has been safely used by humans for over 5,000 years without one
directly attributable fatality. The same can't be said for common pain
relievers such as ASA and acetaminophen.  Whose interests are Seeman and
Seeman trying to defend?

Carey Ker Toronto

Re: Should pot be legalized? 

Do the misinformed authors, Seeman and Seeman, believe that we should
criminalize people for engaging in less than healthy activities such as
watching TV and eating snack foods? Is it their opinion that cannabis
should be distributed by biker gangs? I agree with Dana Larsen who wrote
the Yes column. Cannabis should be legalized.

Matthew M. Elrod 

Re: Should pot be legalized? 

The Seemans' argument against legalizing marijuana fails on many points,
but space allows me only to address the following two. Their focus on the
alleged dangers of smokable marijuana completely ignores modern, safer,
methods of cannabis consumption, such as vaporization, which produces no
cancerous smoke. Advocating synthetic replacements for cannabis fails to
take into account that the benefits of marijuana therapy occur due to the
combination of substance in the plant, not just the active ingredient
delta-9 THC. The bulk of scientific evidence does not support their
assertion that marijuana is unsafe.

Timothy Meeghan Toronto, Ont.

Re: Should pot be legalized? 

When will enough Canadians realize that pot/marijuana/cannabis is a greatly
beneficial herbal medicine, just like garlic,St.Johns Wort, and Evening
Primrose Oil? Do they know that it can be taken orally, in tea, tincture,
or rubbed on? It should be available to responsible adults at health-food
stores and pharmacies, or in their own back yards, without  fear of being
labelled criminals. Please help to spread the truth so this terrible war
against people can end.

Kathy Galbraith Raymond, Alberta

Re: Should Pot be Legalized? 

Common sense seems to elude the Seeman brothers. The use of marijuana as a
drug delivery system to combat nausea and the AIDS has two distinct
advantages over synthetic, oral medications. First, it is cheap to grow.
Second, people experiencing severe nausea cannot easily swallow pills.
Common Sense suggests that all available forms of cannabis should be
available to the sick.

The fact that THC has accepted theraputic benefits is evidence enough to
end the criminal prohibition on cannabis, and the sooner the better.

Kelly T. Conlon 

Re: Should pot be legalized? 

I certainly must agree with the Yes side on this issue. The fact that
marijuana is not perfectly safe for human consumption does not hold water.
If the health issue is the primary consideration against the
decriminalization of pot, then why in the name of all things sensible are
cigarettes not criminal?

John Monaghan South Porcupine, Ont.

Re: Should pot be legalized? 

Alcohol prohibition does not work. Drug prohibition does not work. Illegal
drugs are a trillion dollar-plus industry, most of which flows into the
coffers of organized crime, the only benificiary of the drug laws. Who is
the government trying to benefit by refusing to end this travesty?

Ian MacMillan Toronto, Ont.

Re: Should pot be legalized? 

I find it hard to believe that people are still propagating the same old
myths about marijuana. A real look at the facts shows the source of the
"public health hazards" mentioned in the Jan. 5 No column to be either
dated studies or reefer madness-like propaganda. I challenge tha authors of
the No column to provide valid sources for the "hazards" they cite.

Adam Schiffman North York

Re: Should pot be legalized? 

To our shame, "caring and compassionate" Canada imprisions thousands of
innocent citizens who happen to prefer drugs not approved by the
sanctimonious and uncaring majority.  Incredibly, even sick Canadians, who
find relief from these substances, are made to feel the sting of the
majority's disapproval.

Alan and Eleanor Randell Victoria, B.C.