I share some of recent letter writer Rose Stacey’s concerns regarding the demon weed and grieve with her the anguish of a parent whose child has become enmeshed in that deplorable culture.
However, nothing has destroyed our own culture more than the evils of the drug laws. Yes, marijuana is not a harmless substance, but then neither are alcohol and nicotine, both readily available legally.
As a retired psychiatrist who actually ran a dual diagnosis unit at a large tertiary care psychiatric institution in Vancouver from 2002 to 2004, I have to tell Stacey that I saw much more tragedy and grief attendant on the misuse of alcohol than from cannabis. As a matter of fact, I have a hard time remembering any patient whose misuse of cannabis caused problems even half as severe as the problems we saw daily from alcohol abuse.
The three major commonly abused (illegal) substances in our cities — cannabis, cocaine and heroin — are all extremely cheap to produce and because they are illegal, command astronomical prices on the street. Something that costs about 10 cents a gram to produce may be sold, always adulterated to some degree, at hundreds of dollars a gram.
If I were a wholesaler of illegal drugs, my major nightmare would be legislation, since I could no longer make the kinds of profits I enjoy right now.
I don’t care for marijuana personally, and I have a hard time thinking of anyone I ever met who benefited from it, nonetheless, I think it is inappropriate to hurl the power of the state at people who are simply exercising their right to take things that may not be terribly good for them, and in fact may be helping them, who knows?
Many jurisdictions in Europe and even a few south of the border have relaxed their controls on cannabis without the sky falling in on them. This is (fortunately) the trend and our local RCMP are way behind the times. Persecuting Phoenix is not making our streets safer.
Michael ScottFrench Creek