420 Magazine Background

A Dopey Message

Thread starter #1


At a time when Canada is winning the war against tobacco use, it is plain
dumb for federal NDP Leader Jack Layton to encourage the legalization of

Layton's irresponsible message that marijuana is a "wonderful substance"
will send shudders through the hearts of anti-smoking campaigners, who have
seen the rate of cigarette smoking reduced to around 20 per cent from 50
per cent in the past 40 years.

His go-soft-on-pot plug couldn't come at a worse time. Health Canada
recently reported that while cigarette smoking is declining among teens,
pot smoking is increasing to levels not seen since the late 1970s.

In an interview with the Vancouver-based Internet site Pot TV, Layton
called for "a legal environment in which people can enjoy their marijuana
in the peace and quiet of their own home or in a cafe." Like the
muddle-headed dope-smoking advocates he panders to, Layton ignores the
indisputable fact that smoking kills.

The Canadian Cancer Society says both tobacco and marijuana smoke contain
about 50 cancer-causing substances. While pot users tend to smoke less than
tobacco smokers, they inhale more deeply so that "smoking three to four
marijuana cigarettes per day is roughly equivalent to smoking 20
cigarettes", the society says.

The cancer society says pot smoking also causes a rise in blood pressure,
rapid heart beat, affects memory and causes "a lack of balance and slower
reaction times".

Cancer, heart disease and other illnesses caused by tobacco use already
kill about 45,000 Canadians each year, 1,600 of them in Saskatchewan.
(Accidents in which alcohol played a role claimed another 74.) In Layton's
marijuana utopia there would be potentially more people lighting up,
getting sick and dying.

There's some evidence the federal government's recent stalled efforts to
decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana caused some
teens to mistakenly think that it's OK to smoke pot because there would
soon be no serious consequences. Layton has added to that dangerous
perception. As a senior federal politician -- and although we hesitate to
say it, a responsible adult -- he should know better.

Pubdate: Wed, 12 Nov 2003
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2003 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Contact: letters@leaderpost.com
Website: http://www.canada.com/regina/leaderpost/