Source: Toronto Star Pubdate: 12 Jan 1998 Contact: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n013.a11.html Related: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n013.a10.html 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: http://www.islandnet.com/~creator/cmap/ SHOULD POT BE LEGALIZED? 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.