cannabisnews.com: Canada Could Be a World Leader in Drug Strategies





Canada Could Be a World Leader in Drug Strategies
Posted by CN Staff on March 11, 2005 at 07:13:54 PT
Editorial
Source: Vancouver Sun 
For the past three days, we have examined how the federal government's prohibitionist approach to dealing with marijuana has utterly failed to reduce the supply of, or demand for, the drug. Cannabis use appears to be associated with cultural and social factors, rather than with the harshness of the laws or the degree of their enforcement.Nevertheless, successive governments have spent billions of dollars enforcing the law, and organized crime has reaped billions of dollars in profits from trade in marijuana and other illicit drugs. Marijuana laws have made criminals out of pot smokers, and have allowed organized crime, and its attendant violence, to flourish.
It was for these reasons that the LeDain Commission recommended 30 years ago that Canada end the legal prohibition on marijuana possession. And it was for these reasons that the Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs, in the most comprehensive report on marijuana since LeDain, recommended in 2002 that trade in marijuana be legalized and regulated.Finally, it was for these reasons that in 1998, dignitaries from Europe, Latin America, Canada and the United States sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan declaring that the war on drugs, rather than than drug use, has caused most of the social, political, legal and moral problems associated with illicit drugs.Despite the abundant evidence about the benefits of the legalization and regulation of marijuana -- in addition to weakening (though not eliminating) organized crime, regulation would allow governments to control the strength and purity of marijuana, and would allow for coherent programs aimed at prevention or responsible use -- no country in the world has proceeded with legalization.(De facto legalization exists in the Netherlands, but marijuana laws remain on the books and those trading in large amounts of the drug remain subject to prosecution, which ensures the continued existence of a criminal underground there.)Last of fourSnipped:Complete Article: http://www.freedomtoexhale.com/besmarter.htmSource: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)Published: Friday, March 11, 2005Copyright: 2005 Vancouver Sun Contact: sunletters png.canwest.comWebsite: http://www.vancouversun.com/ Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Linkshttp://freedomtoexhale.com/can.htmPart I: Marijuana Prohibition Caught Hold http://freedomtoexhale.com/rhyme.htmPart II: Law Can't Solve All Our Problemshttp://freedomtoexhale.com/risinguse.htmPart III: Canada's Middle Way On Pothttp://freedomtoexhale.com/middleway.htmCannabisNews Canada Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/Canada.shtml
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Comment #19 posted by John Tyler on March 13, 2005 at 08:15:56 PT
1 or 2%?
It doesnít matter if it was 1 to 2% ten years ago, or 3% thirty years ago. Itís absurd, as nobody was using that anyway (at least nobody I knew) because there was plenty of much better quality available. These numbers are just totally inaccurate. This kind of argument makes the antis and their arguments look totally ridiculous. The majority of antis do not speak from experienced and only have information from twisted statistics and propaganda brochures. When you see what they have written or said this lack of knowledge is apparent.  Years ago a friend of mine told me that when he was in high school they had to attend an antidrug lecture. The speaker was babbling on about this and that and finally concluded with a statement about how the high schoolers should not smoke LSD. The audience bust out in laughter. The speaker didnít know why. 
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on March 12, 2005 at 23:18:18 PT
AgaetisByrjun
Looks like the right thread...it's in comment 1.They can't even keep their lies straight. I'm sure I've read it was 3% thirty years ago and 40% now, and other percentages at other times,according to other press releases, all in keeping with their "this isn't your father's pot" theme.It is so sad that so many people probably believe that stuff.
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Comment #17 posted by AgaetisByrjun on March 12, 2005 at 23:07:11 PT
Whoops
That might have been the wrong thread.
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Comment #16 posted by AgaetisByrjun on March 12, 2005 at 23:06:33 PT
1-2% LESS THAN A DECADE AGO?
Now I've heard everything.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on March 11, 2005 at 17:35:05 PT
Correction
A person who uses such an argument deserves to reap their own silly whirlwind.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on March 11, 2005 at 17:28:46 PT
Maybe a good answer to that ignorant line
would be, "Do you mean to tell me there are activist and reform groups that are working their butts off to legalize murder, rape, and theft?"Oh wait! I just realized! Actually...there are such people...they are called "Prohibitionists"...they've got laws that make it legal for them to murder, steal from, and send people to jails to be raped...over the fact that they like marijuana."You're one of them! Right?"
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on March 11, 2005 at 17:13:44 PT
I'd like to repeat...
Even if you are cornered by some big scary guy and he forces you to smoke some marijuana...are you going to be hurt as bad as if you were raped or murdered?And....we aren't even talking about "forcing" anyone to use cannabis...we are wanting to protect the willing user from disgraceful and cruel treatment.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on March 11, 2005 at 17:10:04 PT
Deboche
It's occurred to me that you are new to this struggle. Maybe you have been thinking of ways to offer help or suggestions. If that's the case...please forgive my outburst.It's not a serious argument and should be pointed out as such.Please accept my apology, if you really meant well.
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Comment #11 posted by jose melendez on March 11, 2005 at 17:07:15 PT
details, details
Perhaps people keep doing it despite legal classification because it works:from: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/03-09-2005/0003159008&EDATE=Pharmos discovers and develops novel therapeutics to treat a range of
indications, in particular neurological and inflammation-based disorders. The
Company recently completed a Phase IIa trial for its neuroprotective drug
candidate, dexanabinol, from its tricyclic dextrocannabinoid platform
technology, as a preventive agent against post-surgical cognitive impairment.
Other compounds from Pharmos' proprietary synthetic cannabinoid library,
primarily CB2-selective receptor agonist compounds, are in pre-clinical
studies targeting pain, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other
disorders. Clinical development in pain indications is expected to commence
during 2005.
 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on March 11, 2005 at 17:06:48 PT
What kind of fool
doesn't know the difference between assault and smoking a joint.It's enough to make you want to assault the insulting creepazoids.We're talking about changing manmade laws and rules in this discussion...not the Ten Commandments.For Heaven's sake!
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on March 11, 2005 at 17:02:19 PT
It is silly...extremely silly
to equate cannabis use with murder, rape, or robbery.It shows extraordinary and extreme ignorance. It shows that the persons who use such arguments are out of touch with reality, and want others to be, too.Even if you are cornered by some big scary guy and he forces you to smoke some marijuana...are you going to be hurt as bad as if you were raped or murdered?It's pure silliness and should be pointed out.Murdered, raped, robbed or forced to smoke a joint? A person who uses such an argument deserves to reap their only silly whirlwind.Then they'd know the difference.I don't know one reformer who thinks murder should be legal.It's prohibitionist insanity. 
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Comment #8 posted by runderwo on March 11, 2005 at 14:57:43 PT
Deboche
I've read on the internet a little too often that one of the reasons that marijuana should be legalized is that people keep doing it, despite it being ilegal. This is wrong. People keep killing, raping and robbing, but that doesn't mean we should make it legal. It's a bad argument that should not be usedYour analogy is what is wrong, not the original argument. You are comparing violent acts involving unwilling subjects to a private (consenting) act that harms no one (except, as some debate, the user).  The point is to demonstrate the futility of having laws that have no moral basis, because they cost money to enforce and are ignored anyway. There can be nothing "wrong" with cannabis use since it harms no one. It is only wrong in the sense that many people disapprove of it for various reasons, but that is no basis for a law against it. The law is ignored not because cannabis users believe themselves to be exempt from the law, but because the law is demonstrably wrong from a moral perspective. You can see the exact same parallel in anything else that is not harmful to anyone except the one doing it, and is outlawed because of disapproval of others - the law is ignored, and as a result persecution occurs.Any law you look at, you have to think - where is the harm, and how is this law preventing it? If the only harm is coming to the individual commiting the act, then the law is useless. Even if you didn't believe that (i.e. you're a culture warrior who thinks you know how everyone else should behave privately), then you have to look at what you are getting for your enforcement dollars. Have you eradicated it? Is the rate of incidence declining? Is a previous growth curve slowing? What are the fallout effects? By *any* of these metrics, cannabis prohibition is a complete failure. Not only are more people using cannabis now than ever before, it has been shown that cannabis is a substitute for harder drugs - so where cannabis prohibition is enforced harshly, use of substitute drugs flourishes.Certain types of people want to get high, they are going to get high regardless of the law, and the only way to change this is to eradicate the responsible genes or to turn the free world into a police state. That's the first thing to realize. (Read Sullum for the rationale behind this) The second thing to realize is that cannabis is the one way to get high that at the same time maximizes safety to the user and minimizes cost, while minimizing the impaired judgement and recklessness that cause other drugs (incl. alcohol) to bring unwitting third parties into the cost of getting high. Anyone who acknowledges both these points and still supports cannabis prohibition does not have freedom on their agenda.
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Comment #7 posted by potpal on March 11, 2005 at 13:07:43 PT
I Chong
http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/21447/ Kap, I'm glad you're on my side.
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on March 11, 2005 at 12:37:59 PT:
Uh, Deboche? You're jesting, right?
I'm going to assume that you accidentally haven't filled in the rest of the obvious. Namely, that this is *exactly* the kind of intellectually dishonest conflation that our opponents use. Equating murder with cannabis consumption is a favorite dodge of *theirs*, and since so many of them are ethically challenged anyway (why else would they continually lie...and say it's all right to lie to children?) that we can expect nothing else from them.Though, if you are saying that approaching this matter from a purely moral and civil direction is pointless, I would tend to agree. The majority of the American public has been desensitized to civil rights infractions simply because they believe, for the most part, that such things only happen to people that deserve them. They fail to realize the level of caprice involved in the prosecution of the drug laws...until they are ensnared by them, and then it's too late to be screaming about rights. Another reason, IMHO is that the majority of the (Anglo) population believe that minorities are *too* concerned with said civil rights, thinking that civil rights are in fact unfair preferential treatment, not realizing they were meant as an umbrella to protect everyone, not a few.I do not wish to seem a calculating b*****d, but I believe that the most effective way of ending prohibition will be to demonstrate to the American public how wasteful the War on (Some) Drugs has been with their hard earned tax dollars. Times are tight and getting tighter. Tell John and Joan Q. Public you absolutely must lock up 'potheads' at a yearly cost that's at or ABOVE *their annual salary*, and they'll wake up real fast from their sleepwalking when they realize that it's directly costing them. Appealling to the 'angels of their better natures' hasn't proved as effective a method as slapping them in the face with the bill for 'services rendered' in the DrugWar.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 11, 2005 at 12:16:42 PT
CCC: Marijuana Grow-Ops in BC
I thought some here might want to check this out.***March 11, 2005 - Research Study Link   UCFV study on marihuana grow-ops releasedThe second part of a major study conducted by the UCFV Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice has just been released.http://www.ucfv.ca/Home_Page.htmLink to document:
http://www.ucfv.ca/pages/Special/Marihuana_Grow_Ops_in_BC_Study.pdfThis report contains the results of a comprehensive study of marihuana cultivation in British Columbia undertaken and completed in two parts.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 11, 2005 at 12:01:12 PT
potpal
Recently I've been quiet and not commenting much. I've been really thinking a lot lately. I love to be happy and upbeat but when I think about Canada and what I would say would make me seem like a grim reaper. I sense serious trouble up north. 
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Comment #3 posted by Deboche on March 11, 2005 at 12:00:07 PT
a small detail
I've read on the internet a little too often that one of the reasons that marijuana should be legalized is that people keep doing it, despite it being ilegal. This is wrong. People keep killing, raping and robbing, but that doesn't mean we should make it legal. It's a bad argument that should not be used
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Comment #2 posted by potpal on March 11, 2005 at 11:55:51 PT
National Post
Not one sentence dedicated to an opposing view. Q:How many more people will suffer until we are able to change the trend line?
A:Everybody will suffer except those who profit from prohibition like Mr. Walters and his croonies. And the trend line?
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 11, 2005 at 11:13:29 PT
Related Article from Canada
U.S. Drug Czar Targets Canadian Pot 
  
 Potency increasing: Says tougher laws needed to fight marijuana cultivation.Tom Blackwell, National Post Friday, March 11, 2005Washington -- The number of American teenagers and adults ending up in emergency wards or seeking treatment because of marijuana use has soared in recent years and seems linked to "dramatically" growing imports of high-potency Canadian canabis, the White House drug czar said yesterday.John Walters estimated the industry is also funnelling "billions" of dollars into the pockets of organized crime north of the border and said Canadian prosecutors tell him they need tougher laws to combat the marijuana-growing bonanza."It has grown dramatically," he said of the northern marijuana trade. "The question that is always on our side of the border, and on theirs, when these problems arise is: 'How many more people will suffer until we are able to change the trend line?' "The elevated THC content -- the intoxicating ingredient -- of Canadian marijuana means it can no longer be considered a soft drug, argued Mr. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.His concerns, voiced at a news conference, reflect a growing anxiety among some politicians and government officials in the United States about Canada, a country not traditionally viewed as a major supplier of drugs.The export of Ecstasy pills made in Canadian labs and of the chemical ingredients of illicit narcotics, like methamphetamine, have also caught the attention of the Americans, as underlined in a State Department report issued last week.But yesterday Mr. Walters focused on the marijuana problem and how, he contends, it is affecting young people in the United States.The number of Americans admitted to hospital emergency wards because of marijuana use has doubled to 120,000 annually in the last five years, he said. Meanwhile, the number of teenagers seeking treatment for marijuana dependency has grown to the point where it is more than for all other drugs combined, including alcohol.The phenomenon has paralleled a growing potency of marijuana available in the North America, from that containing 1% to 2% THC less than a decade ago, to between 8% and 9% and, in some cases, 20% or more in recent years, he said.Other countries, like Mexico, also supply such high-powered marijuana, Mr. Walters acknowledged."But the big new factor on the scene is ... the enormous growth of very-high-potency marijuana coming from Canada."He said most people, especially those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, view marijuana as a soft drug that does not warrant much concern. But the higher potency means that one in five pot-smoking Americans age 12 to 17 progress to needing treatment or "intervention" for marijuana abuse.Mr. Walters praised the co-operation that American authorities have had from Canadian police, especially the RCMP, which he described as "one of the finest police organizations in the world."But he said prosecutors have told him that the current Criminal Code penalties are not stiff enough to deter marijuana-cultivation criminals and "without the ability to use more extensive enforcement pressure, they're concerned about how this will continue to grow."Denise Rudnicki, a spokesman for federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, noted that new legislation before Parliament that would de-criminalize simple possession of marijuana would also double maximum penalties for those running marijuana growing operations to 14 years from seven.Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan has said that judges need to get tougher on those behind marijuana-growing, and suggested that the marijuana bill could be further strengthened.A spokesman for the Canadian Embassy in Washington said yesterday that Canadian marijuana still accounts for only 1% to 2% of the product sold in the United States., while Canada imports most of its cocaine from the United States.Copyright: 2005 National Post
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