Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Friday, October 14, 2005

LTE: Maori, Marijuana and Morality

Letter to the Editor
The Press

13 October, 2005

Dear Sir,

Cannabis and Maori health is being elevated to morality masquerading as science where 'epidemic proportions' and youth to elder use is given without comparison to non-maori populations.

New Zealand's youth uptake and adult use is second to none and at levels where genetics have little to do with the facts stated in this appalling public health journalism proffered as ground breaking science. "But cannabis might not be as safe as the proponents of its legalisation say" is a disingenuous strawman and reeks of manufactured consent. The articles author, coroner and concerned medical researchers might profit from asking the crucial question, that even if safety concerns are true, on whose watch is this prevalence and any attendant harm occurring? Certainly not the legalisers.

Damage to lungs from cannabis is confounded by many cannabis users also using tobacco. Leo Hollister of the Stanford University School of Medicine, writing for the journal of The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics finds that "As yet, it is far easier to find pulmonary cripples from the abuse of tobacco than it is to find any evidence of clinically important pulmonary insufficiency from smoking of cannabis.". What we have is another case of cannabis related harms being 'largely overstated' as found by our own Health Select Committee's 1998 and 2002 inquiries and yet more reason to see the tension in drug policy resolved a soon as possible. Harm minimising reform is not accountable for intergenerational use, genetic predisposition or double standard impediments to health promotion whereas the set and setting of prohibition is.

Blair Anderson, Director, EFSDP.ORG

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