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OPINION: We're Not Dopes

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Recent results about marijuana use raised more than a few eyebrows in this nation: Canada is tops in the industrialized world in terms of marijuana use.

We beat places such as The Netherlands, where pot smoking is legal. In fact, our pot smoking is more than four times the global rate, according to a United Nations report.

The world drug-use study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said that almost 17 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 64 smoked marijuana or used other cannabis products in 2004, the most recent year for which statistics were cited.

The study used the most recent statistics available from each country. It estimates global pot use at less than four per cent for people between the ages of 15 and 64.

Canada placed fifth in the world, behind New Guinea and Micronesia (29 per cent), Ghana (21.5 per cent) and Zambia (17.7 per cent). The Netherlands was well back at 6.1 per cent, while Jamaica, stereotyped for its ganja, sat at below 11 per cent.

So, we are tops among Western countries in terms of pot use. It could be worse. We could be the biggest snorters on the planet.

There are much more dangerous drugs than dope. Marijuana is still considered among the "least addictive of all psycho-active substances," Jurgen Rehm, a senior scientist with the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said in an article in the Montreal Gazette.

We are a progressive nation in many ways, yet not quite so bold as yet to follow The Netherlands in legalizing pot. Pro-dope advocates continue to push for marijuana's legalization; the previous federal government was making strides towards decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of pot.

Certainly pot can be harmful in large quantities and over long periods of use. So too can cigarettes and alcohol, legally distributed to anyone over the age of 19 in Canada. Some studies show both booze and tobacco are more harmful than dope. Yet marijuana is the illegal substance.

Perhaps it is time to seriously consider decriminalizing a recreational drug that one-in-six Canadians from age 15 to 64 used in 2004.

If dope truly was for dopes, then this country wouldn't be able to function with such high usage rates. But we're doing just fine.

News Hawk- User http://www.420Magazine.com
Source: Osprey
Author: Editorial
Contact: Osprey Media. - Chatham Daily News - Ontario, CA
Copyright: 2007, Osprey Media
Website: Osprey Media. - Chatham Daily News - Ontario, CA
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