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Friday, August 22, 2014

Today in pot-related news

There's a lot on pot today. For the record, I support full legalization of marijuana. It's no more harmful than alcohol, most police chiefs and police officers realize the pot laws are virtually unenforceable and oppose them,  and the "war" on its use only puts money in the hands of criminals. Let's tax it and sell it through regulated outlets. That way, we can create jobs and public revenue and let the police and courts focus on real crime in society.

From the Globe and Mail:
...A lot of Canadians smoke pot – about one-in-three over the age of 15 – but the vast majority do so in moderation.
Marijuana is not addictive – in the common sense of the term, where stopping will cause withdrawal symptoms – but frequent users can become dependent, which is clearly not healthy. But there are a lot more alcoholics than there are stoners.
Public-health authorities need to be pragmatic – to focus on harm reduction. That means warning people about the risks of marijuana smoking and especially about related activities, like the dangers of driving a motor vehicle or operating heavy machinery while stoned.
As with tobacco and alcohol, particular attention needs to be paid to young people and their developing brains. Excessive drug use, including marijuana, can impact learning and, in rare instances, be a trigger for more serious mental illness.

David Asper in the National Post:
...Many people in different political parties have differing views on the subject, including within the Conservative party. I’m a Conservative and happen to support legalization and regulation, because, as I’ve noted before, mere decriminalization would continue to keep the supply lines (i.e. the drug traffickers) in the shadows rather than eliminating them by regulating and taxing the product as we do with alcohol...

An editorial from The Edmonton Journal:
...The Canadian Medical Association’s reaffirmation this week of the medical dangers of smoking “pot” — and critics’ inevitable rejoinders about the evils of prohibition — give us all an excellent opportunity to prepare ourselves for thoughtfully deciding where we stand on the issue, and why exactly we take this position.

No doubt, opponents of decriminalization will be heartened by the doctors’ insistence that the inhaling of any plant smoke has an assortment of scientifically proven negative impacts, and that — on a per-cigarette basis — marijuana is 10 times worse than tobacco.

After all, we live in a world increasingly horrified about and eager for regulations to limit the impacts of alcohol and nicotine. How and why could this trend to health-related regulation be bucked for pot smokers?

As everyone knows, however, the potential for health harms to the user or bystander is hardly ever the only issue, or society’s only concern, when it comes to regulatory intervention by the state.

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