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

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Long-term daily cannabis use seen harmful to brain tissue, mental health

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 13:  Corey Kelly, who is HIV positive, smokes medicinal marijuana at the Alternative Herbal Health Services cannabis dispensary July 13, 2006 in San Francisco. San Francisco city planners are deciding July 13 if they will issue a permit to allow Kevin Reed to open the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary right in the middle of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area, a popular tourist destination.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Corey KellyImage by Getty Images via Daylife
Dr. Yucel says "Many people in the community, as well as cannabis users themselves, believe that cannabis is relatively harmless and should be legally available,"
(see Yucel Research link here)

This argument is a straw man.

The heavy use of cannabis as characterized by this study [5+ daily joints*356*10yrs] would be the extreme exception in consumption.

It would be very difficult to find 15 cannabis only consumers in Australia using at this level.

(further) This heavy consumption was occurring in a context of absolute prohibition, clear evidence of policy 'efficacy' failure being so predicated on zero tolerance of any harm.

But what do we find? A harm association by a correlation only, and as reported elsewhere - no basis for thinking there is cannabis harm causation other than at sub clinical behavioral measures.

Remember the UN cannabis related covenants sanctions billions of dollars annually on police, justice, law, and corrections and maintains a culture of global corruption and injustice that hurts tens of thousands of innocent non-cannabis users. Who is protecting their neuroanatomical wellbeing?

What we have here is a premise that cannabis is NOT harmless whereas sociological and epidemiology 'evidence' demonstrates that relative to alcohol and tobacco, cannabis harms have been AND continue to be largely overstated. This is a substantially different reason for legal regulation than the inferred argument that the legal status should not change because 'some harm' at the extreme end of consumption can be demonstrated. Dr. Yucel's research is no justification for continuing criminalisation to save people from themselves. The inference that it is makes the academic value of this research moot.

Consider, were the same 15 individuals to have consumed (and displaced joints) some eighteen thousand drams of single malt whiskey over ten years Dr. Yucel and his team would have been counting death certificates and adding up hospital bills for mental health incidences, accidents and disease including cancer, liver disease, cardiovascular issues, diabetes and more.

By any standard this research is arguably a testimony to cannabis being an effective 'alcohol displacement harm reduction' intervention with fewer downsides than most 'bigpharma' medications. It is easier, cheaper, more respectful [informed consent] and more efficacious if the evidence presented here was used to making the case for 'there are some self medication harms but there is no impediment to legal regulation to enable credible health promotion'.

Remember, prohibition didn't stop these 15 males consuming to the Max. and had we not MRI'd them, we (both researcher and society) wouldn't in all likelihood even noticed them.

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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