End The Drug War

End The Drug War
Posted by CN Staff on September 28, 2002 at 20:13:25 PT
By Lisa Doerksen
Source: Lethbridge Herald
The war on drugs is doing society more harm than the illegal substances themselves, says a U.S. pharmacology researcher. "This policy of drug prohibition is literally causing more harm to our society than the prohibited drugs could ever cause," said Alan Robison, former head of the Faculty of Pharmacology at the University of Texas and executive director of the Drug Policy Forum in that state.
Robison, speaking at a special meeting of the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs Friday, advocated for decriminalization of marijuana."We've got to replace this policy, all over the world really, with an effective regulatory policy."Robison, a former Lethbridge resident, suggested communities be allowed to regulate marijuana, much the same as nicotine and alcohol.Decriminalizing the substance, he suggested, would take control away from the drug dealers and give it to the government. He questioned why a drug which studies show is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol remains outlawed.In the 1960s, Robison was involved in an unsuccessful study to determine the lethal dose of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana."It was the first and only drug I ever studied in my entire career that we could not calculate a (lethal dose) for," he said. "No matter how much of this stuff we injected into a mouse, we couldn't kill it."Robison's quest for decriminalization began in 1972, when he took the position at the University of Texas. There he discovered that marijuana possession in any amount was a felony, punishable by a prison term ranging from two years to life."I found out people were literally being sent away for the rest of their lives for fooling around with this crap," he said. "Bright kids wanting to be doctors were prevented from doing so because they fooled around with this stuff."In 1995, when he retired, he helped found Texas' Drug Policy Forum.Robison spoke strongly in favour of marijuana for medicinal use, and praised a recent Canadian senate report which supported legalization. "Marijuana is probably the safest therapeutic agent known to man."However, he noted that, as with most drugs, there are some negative effects to over-consumption of marijuana. Those include loss of short-term memory, slowed reaction time and the possibility of lung damage due to smoking it.Source: Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)Author: Lisa DoerksenPublished: Saturday, September 28, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Lethbridge HeraldContact: letters lethbridgeherald.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Drug Policy Forum of Texas Stop Throwing Cash Into Pot Policing: Senator't Make Pot Legal, UN Official Warns Pot: Why Stop There? 
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Comment #3 posted by goneposthole on September 30, 2002 at 07:22:53 PT
The baby boomer boneheads
who think prohibition is the way to go will have to die off first before any hope of legal cannabis is realized.Twenty-seven years ago, I was hoping then that cannabis would soon be legalized. It has all been downhill since. Maybe in fifteen years from now when all of the jolly prohibiionists are near the end of their natural lives and are drooling all of the time, will the possibility of cannabis being legalized become a reality. By then those drooling prohibitionists will be begging for cannabis to stave-off the inevitable Alzheimer's that will be fast approaching.Happy trails 
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Comment #2 posted by VitaminT on September 29, 2002 at 07:33:11 PT
God Bless Al
when Al Robison emailed that he was taking a trip to Canada we assumed he was taking a well deserved break in his old home town, but true to form he can't just relax and be quiet.Gotta love him!
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Comment #1 posted by pokesmotter on September 28, 2002 at 20:33:35 PT:
i realized something
This is a great article. I can't put my finger on it but i really enjoyed it. Weed will be legal eventually but our existing government is going to TRY and fight it. They are now.
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