Following the latest unpleasantness in American politics, particularly the mob assault on the U.S. Capitol, there was speak concerning the want for a fee on “Reality and Reconciliation,” much like the South African effort following the tip of Apartheid.
Unsurprisingly, the shedding aspect appears extra occupied with “Reconciliation” than within the “Reality.”
Equally, the Drug Warriors on the “shedding aspect” within the battle on marijuana customers would somewhat fake that it by no means occurred. Let’s not speak about it.
It might be too late for actual “Justice” for the tens of thousands and thousands of victims of marijuana prohibition, however it actually isn’t too late for us to be taught from our “errors.” At this time we consider Canada as a pioneer in marijuana legalization, however it wasn’t all the time that method.
On January 10, 2005, Canada’s Nationwide Put up and different newspapers, together with the Vancouver Solar, each of which had been anti-prohibitionist, carried articles by Jack Aubry, with an fascinating selection of headlines and emphasis.
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The Put up selected “Teenagers See Marijuana As Much less Dangerous Than Cigarettes” whereas the Solar and a few others selected “Pot simpler to get than cigarettes, college students say.”
Well being Canada had spent C£56,000 on a report based mostly on 16 focus teams divided into three age classes – 10-12, 13-15 and 16-19. They had been in Toronto, Montreal, Regina and Halifax, however not Vancouver, an fascinating omission, since marijuana was “nearly authorized” there.
Frankly, I’ve severe doubts about asking teenagers (or adults for that matter) questions on cannabis and getting straight solutions, even now, however particularly in 2005.
The reporter defined, “The report was ready for Well being Canada’s bid to assist teenagers develop coping and refusal expertise.”
Evidently Canadian teenagers perceived cannabis as being much less dangerous than cigarettes! In fact, this was considered with alarm, and, so “Federal Report Finds Lack Of Info On The Well being Penalties” was the inevitable sub-header.
Or maybe that they had learn The Science of Marijuana, by Dr. Leslie Iversen of Oxford College’s division of pharmacology. Because the Impartial reported in 2000, Iverson discovered “many ‘myths’ surrounding marijuana use, reminiscent of excessive addictiveness, or hyperlinks with psychological sickness or infertility should not supported by science.”
He additionally discovered cannabis is an inherently “protected drug” which “doesn’t result in most cancers, infertility, mind harm or psychological sickness, due to the efficient messages that members have been uncovered to on the well being results of cigarettes and second-hand smoke relative to these of marijuana.”
See: Oxford Pharmacologist, Fellow of the Prestigious Royal Society, Says Marijuana Safer Than Aspirin
Or maybe that they had not. Aubry additionally reported that the teenagers within the focus teams thought that marijuana people who smoke have no idea the opposed results of the substance “other than killing mind cells or making ‘customers’ lazy” and don’t perceive the well being the reason why they need to give up smoking it. (I couldn’t discover the examine itself on-line, however Aubry put within the citation marks.)
In keeping with a examine by the Canadian Centre for Habit and Psychological Well being: in 1992, of Ontario well being methods prices associated to all “medicine” solely .05% had been associated to cannabis. And a pair of% had been associated to all the different illicit medicine. Nonetheless, alcohol accounted for 28.4%, and tobacco accounted for a whopping 69%!
Ten years later, in June of 2002, Dr. Patrick Smith of the Centre for Habit and Psychological Well being informed the Canadian Senate Particular Committee on Unlawful Medicine, “If we found three medicine at the moment and so they had been alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, there isn’t an professional within the nation who would suggest that marijuana be the one that’s banned based mostly on particular person and societal hurt.”
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Aubry additionally quotes the report as saying, “Contributors usually felt that the one publicity that they had acquired on points coping with marijuana had been communications on the legalization of the substance or using marijuana for medicinal functions.”
If that was true, it must be as a result of the teenagers had merely tuned out all of the reefer insanity pushed by the Canadian police. There was actually no scarcity of prohibitionist propaganda in Canada. Well being Canada didn’t have a monopoly.
A ballot launched in November of 2004 reported that nearly 30% of Canadian teenagers 15- to 17-years outdated and 47% of 18- and 19-year-olds had used marijuana prior to now 12 months.
In fact, this was and is considerably greater than in The Netherlands, however nobody ever thought-about that, not even after the teenagers in these focus teams noticed that “the simpler entry to marijuana is paradoxically as a result of authorized age restrict for smoking cigarettes and the truth that you must purchase cigarettes by means of conventional retailers, reminiscent of nook shops.”
In different phrases, cannabis prohibition is a counterproductive fraud.
See: Dutch amongst lowest cannabis customers in Europe-report
But it surely labored for Well being Canada. A spokesman for Well being Canada, stated HC was following the report’s suggestion to create separate messages concerning smoking tobacco and marijuana “as a result of teenagers understand them as two various things.”
However HC remains to be in the identical enterprise. From December of final 2020: Well being Canada involved an excessive amount of cannabis is being grown at residence.
Richard Cowan is a former NORML Nationwide Director and creator of “What All Ought to You Know About CBD Gummy Bears”
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