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Canadian Doctors on side of decriminilization

LoopeD

TRIBE Member
Taken from the National Post:

Canadian doctors want marijuana decriminalized
Brief to Senate committee



*Tom Arnold*
National Post

Peter Redman, National Post


Dr. Henry Haddad says the medical association supports a fine for simple possession or personal use of marijuana.


Simple possession and personal use of marijuana should be removed from the Criminal Code and instead be punishable only by a fine, concludes a medical organization representing 52,000 doctors in Canada.

In a brief to a special Senate committee on illegal drugs, the Canadian Medical Association added decriminalization of marijuana "must be done so with the recognition that cannabis is an addictive substance and that addiction is a disease."

"The CMA believes that resources currently devoted to combatting simple marijuana possession through the criminal law could be diverted to public health strategies, particularly for youth," Dr. Henry Haddad, the association's president, told the panel.

He said having a criminal record limits employment prospects, resulting in a profound impact on health status. "Use of a civil violation, such as a fine, is a potential alternative," he added.

But he also said changes to the law affecting cannabis "must not promote normalization of its use, and must be tied to a national drug strategy that promotes awareness and prevention, and provides for comprehensive treatment."

The strategy, to include a National Cannabis Cessation Program, should be developed by the federal government with the provinces, he said. It would highlight the potential harm of cannabis use, including risk to pregnancy and people with mental illness as well as chronic respiratory problems, slower reaction times and impaired motor co-ordination. It would also examine increased heart rates and dilated blood vessels, two symptoms of cardiac disease.

The rate of cannabis offences has increased 34% since 1991, with cannabis possession rates generally steadily increasing, the CMA brief notes. About 86% of those charged with cannabis offences are younger than 25.

Of the 66,500 drug incidents in Canada in 1997, more than 70%, or 47,908, were cannabis-related. Of those, more than two-thirds, or 32,682, were for possession. About 2,000 Canadians go to jail annually for possession of marijuana, the medical brief states.

Dr. Haddad told the Senate committee the vast majority of financial resources are now dedicated to combating illegal drugs by law enforcement. "Government needs to re-balance this distribution and allocate a greater proportion of these resources to drug treatment, prevention and harm-reduction programs. Law enforcement activities should target the distribution and production of illegal drugs," he said.

Drug use among teenagers is on the rise, the CMA submission also states. It points to recent results from the 1999 Ontario Student Drug Use Survey. The research found more than 29% of students in Grades 7-11 used cannabis, compared to less than 12% in 1991. It also noted other illegal drug use by students, including ecstasy, PCP, hallucinogens and cocaine.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine pushed for the decriminalization of personal possession of all drugs, as long as it was accompanied with government control over drug protection and distribution.

"Drug possession for personal use must be decriminalized and distinguished from the trafficking or illegal sale and distribution of drugs to others that must carry appropriate criminal sanctions," said Dr. William Campbell, the society's national president.

The CMA brief notes in U.S. states such as California where cannabis has been decriminalized, marijuana use has decreased.

"The issue is therefore whether there are less coercive ways to discourage its use," the brief states.



A coupe of things:

Tom Arnold? ;)


And either I didn't know California had decriminalized, or my weed-addled memory forgot it - good for them!

Its a start, though its still being treated as a dangerous addictive substance who's use should "not be normalized", while one can still walk into any liquor store and purchase a "Texas Mickey" of Canadian Club whiskey, which is enough to either get 10 people shitfaced, 5 people killed or 3 horses comatosed...........




:)d
 

Rosey

TRIBE Member
"Drug possession for personal use must be decriminalized and distinguished from the trafficking or illegal sale and distribution of drugs to others that must carry appropriate criminal sanctions," said Dr. William Campbell, the society's national president

^^^^^smart man! :)
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by LoopeD


And either I didn't know California had decriminalized, or my weed-addled memory forgot it - good for them!

:)d

It's sort of quasi-legal to smoke for medicinal use only, but lately the DEA and Federal government have been cracking down on some compassion centres claiming that Federal law overides any state laws on drugs.

Pete
 
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LoopeD

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Jeffsus
Since when was marijuana considered addictive?

-jM
A&D


Actually, its quite addictive. I don't have any scientific info for you, but I know many people who have smoked hardcore for years, some even for decades, and they get cranky when there's no buds. One guy gets headaches, stomach aches and panic attacks. This could be psychosomatic, of course, but if I haven't been high in a week or two I find I tend to get a little anxious.......just a little, mind you!

It's called chronicing!:D

However, the addiction is a mild one, at least for most people, nothing like tobacco or coke or anything, and I imagine its mostly mentally + psychologically addictive than physical...........you crave to be high, not the substance itself.



:)d
 

seeker

TRIBE Member
marijuana is not physically addictive like tobacco, caffeine, heroin, etc etc. it is psychologically addictive, like television, music and masturbation.
 

SENSEi

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by LoopeD



Actually, its quite addictive. I don't have any scientific info for you, but I know many people who have smoked hardcore for years, some even for decades, and they get cranky when there's no buds. One guy gets headaches, stomach aches and panic attacks. This could be psychosomatic, of course, but if I haven't been high in a week or two I find I tend to get a little anxious.......just a little, mind you!

It's called chronicing!:D

However, the addiction is a mild one, at least for most people, nothing like tobacco or coke or anything, and I imagine its mostly mentally + psychologically addictive than physical...........you crave to be high, not the substance itself.



:)d

WERD!!

Everything I've ever read states that it is psychologically addictive, not phyically..

Therefore the symptoms will pass much quicker then with cigarettes, which I believe will haunt you for the rest of your life..


SENSEi
 

Pyrovitae

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by seeker
marijuana is not physically addictive like tobacco, caffeine, heroin, etc etc. it is psychologically addictive, like television, music and masturbation.

ha!:)

and sweeeeeeet. i'm all for the occasional *puff puff pass* and haven't been able to understand why it's a "drug" that's criminalized. obviously the physical damage is minimal, (even the united states government has test results proving that,) and pot smokers are usually harmless.

when you're blazed it's often an effort to go from the couch to the fridge to get munchies. it's not like stoners are a real danger to society.

*muah*
~N
 
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LoopeD

TRIBE Member
Ah, those lovely Brits!

Trust the cultured Brits to reach the right conclusions before us over-the pond hicks! Course, Amsterdam is their playground, just a short hop away - the Scientists in question have probably been hitting up the smoke shops since they were 17!;)


Cannabis is given health all clear

by David Taylor Home Affairs Correspondent
Scientists today cleared the way for a softening of the law on cannabis, declaring that the drug "is not associated with major health problems for the individual or society".

The Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs found that while cannabis smokers can become dependent, the drug is not as addictive as tobacco or alcohol.

Although cannabis may pose risks for people with heart problems, or for schizophrenics, the dangers are not so great as in the case of other drugs such as amphetamine, say the scientists. In healthy young people, cannabis is even said to have a similar effect on the heart as exercise.

The findings are sure to dismay some anti-drugs campaigners who regard cannabis as a "gateway drug" which can lead users to experiment with harder substances, such as heroin.

At the moment, cannabis is a Class B drug, one rung down from cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, but on a par with amphetamine or "speed". In October, Home Secretary David Blunkett signalled his intention to downgrade cannabis to Class C alongside steroids and some sleeping pills - meaning that being caught with small amounts would no longer be an arrestable offence.

Today's advisory council report says cannabis is less harmful than other Class B drugs, adding: "The continuing juxtaposition of cannabis with these more harmful Class B drugs, erroneously ( and dangerously) suggests that their harmful effects are equivalent."

It makes clear that alcohol is far more damaging than cannabis to health and society at large because it encourages risk-taking and leads to aggressive and violent behaviour.

Today's report - always expected to support downgrading - is seen as the next step toward the biggest change in the drugs laws for more than 30 years.

Both the Commons and the Lords will have to debate and vote on the issue before the law can be changed and the Home Secretary will wait until he has read two more key reports before he asks Parliament to look at the question.

First, he wants to see a study of the Metropolitan Police's Lambeth experiment where people caught with cannabis have been let off with a warning and simply had the drug confiscated. Then he will read the home affairs select committee's wide-ranging report on the Government's drugs policies.

A Home Office source said any change in the law would come "in the summer at the earliest". It would still be possible to go to jail for dealing in cannabis, but people caught with small amounts for personal use would likely face only confiscation and a formal warning.





:)d
 

seeker

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by twist
marijuana users will have multiple semen stains on their pants from constantly jacking off.

... when they can't find a rape victim. ;)

"finish the damn story man! what about the glands!" LOL!
 
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LoopeD

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Subsonic Chronic
Gah... you beat me to it Looped.

I was gonna post this article

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=274412

...that pretty much says the same thing.

Pete


Nice - actually that one's a little more informative !

Its good to see scientists ignoring past stigmas and seeing cannabis for what it really is. I enjoyed the statement that its less harmful than the legal substances, tobacco and booze - havent seen a whole lot of publication of that very true fact.




:)d
 
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