More Drug Stuff

There was another new study published today which showed that, contrary to previous beliefs that marijuana may actually be more of a carcinogen than tobacco, it is in fact considerably less. The study demonstrated that nicotine actually amplifies many of the carcinogenic chemicals caused by the combustion process, wheras THC actually reduces these. So, even though there are more tars in marijuana smoke, it's actually not as harmful in the long run. Of course, there has always been the factor that those who smoke weed do so far less frequently than tobacco users.

I guess this sort of brings me up to what I really would like to discuss, a little ramble on legalization. I was reading this article today about a government committee that has recommended the legalization of all drugs in Canada. I'm talking not only weed, but cocaine, heroin, and everything in between. The thinking is that the criminal code has not been able to curb the use of these drugs.

In regards to heroin, the study actually argued that it wasn't as harmful as it has been thought. Most of the problems associated with heroin are because of problems with the purity of the drug, used needles, and the provenance through black markets. It is said that if the government were to legalize, produce, and legislate the sale of hard drugs, there would actually be less deaths because of it. Consumption will not increase if drugs were legalized. Government would also encourage that heroin be administed in methods other than injecting it (inhalation) which are considered to be much safer. Studies in Australia and the Netherlands have proven that this is not the case in regards to marijuana. In the case of heroin, cocaine, whatever, the question to ask yourself is: Are you actually more willing to try one of those drugs just because they're legal? I certainly would not be. If a person is really interested in trying them out currently, they can seek out dealers without a problem.

The main argument used to support this is that tobacco use has declined greatly in recent years not through legislation and criminalization of a harmful substance which causes deaths, but rather by education people about the problems of using this. The exact same logic applies to other drugs. Let's legalize them and try and help people instead of locking them up. We should study the effects of these drugs in known purities and what social factors cause people to use them. Let's start with weed, because this is the only one I personally care about, the one which is increasingly the most socially accepted, and then we can move from there.


At 20/10/05 12:51 PM, Blogger Portelance said...

Some more comment in the Globe and Mail today on this issue. A prominent ex-police chief in the US (Seattle, I believe) is a strong advocate of legalization of all drugs based on what he saw during his years of service on the police force. He has written a new book on the topic outlining his thoughts and ideas on how to execute the plan. He also says that the police chief of one of the biggest cities in the US (didn't say who, for obvious reasons) supports him 100%.

Just as an extra factoid, there are over a million people arrested each year in the US for drug-related offences, and the rate of imprisonment per 100,000 citizens is rising each year, mostly because of drug-related crimes. He advocates that drugs should be legalized to change it from being a criminal problem to a health problem. Of course, also for all the reasons I have stated in my past two blog posts on the topic and for obvious crime and gang-related issues linked to the drug trade.

At 31/1/06 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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