Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: Times The (UK)



Sir, Dr Andrew Wilski (letter, May 23) makes valid points on the adverse
effects of long-term cannabis use. Yet he acknowledges that "those who are
mentally sturdy may tolerate its use without great harm". It seems that the
greatest peril to the long-term pot user is to induce "a state of low
motivation". Shouldn't the mentally sturdy be allowed to choose?

The deleterious effects of long-term alcohol consumption are well known and
are measurably more destructive than prolonged cannabis use. Yet there is
no outcry in Great Britain to ban alcohol.

In my country marijuana prohibition has been a huge failure, lining the
pockets of dealers and lawyers and turning otherwise law-abiding people
into criminals.

The great erosion of will is more with politicians, who do not seem to give
serious consideration to this subject, than with the individual user.

Yours truly, STEVEN DAVIS, 911 Jewel Street, Austin, Texas  May 24.

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Sir, Dr Wilski tells us that it should be obvious to anyone working in the
field of psychiatry that "cannabis is a stealthily noxious substance", but
offers no evidence.

For thirty years I have worked in the field as a counsellor and read widely
in drugs literature. During that time I have known six psychiatrists who
attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to help them recover from
alcoholism. I have yet to hear of anyone trying to recover from addiction
to marijuana.

In 1988, after a two-year investigation involving thousands of pages of
expert testimony, the American Drug Enforcement Agency's own chief
admininstrator, Francis L. Young, concluded that "marijuana, in its natural
form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man"
(Docket No. 86-22, September 6, 1988).

Thus I trust Dr Wilski will not think me guilty of either "ill-will or
ignorance" if I find his position totally unpersuasive.

Yours etc, PAT DOLAN, 503 Pendrell Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
V6E 3N4.  May 25.

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