A serious blow to Canadian audiophiles, must read


I love the third paragraph. Sorry to see that the Canadian court's decision has destroyed the patriotism of our north of the border friends. Hopefully the Candian audio industry can weather this setback!
Canada keeps marijuana possession illegal
Supreme Court ruling deals a blow to activists

The Associated Press
Updated: 11:47 a.m. ET Dec. 23, 2003

TORONTO - Canada’s top court ruled Tuesday to keep marijuana possession illegal, dealing a blow to activists who had argued the drug causes no serious harm.

In a 6-3 decision spanning 400 pages, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that trafficking and possession, even in small amounts, would remain a criminal offense. The judgment prompted praise from law enforcement groups and disappointment from proponents of legalization.

“My huge patriotism may slowly be dissipating. I have a lot of faith in my country, in freedom and justice, but it doesn’t seem like we have a whole lot of that left,” said Dominic Kramer, a marijuana activist who runs a store that sells hemp products and paraphernalia in Toronto.

'I have a lot of faith in my country, in freedom and justice, but it doesn’t seem like we have a whole lot of that left.'

— Dominic Kramer
Marijuana activist

Tony Cannavino, president of the Canadian Police Association, welcomed the decision but expressed concern over a proposed bill by Prime Minister Paul Martin that would soften penalties for pot possession. He said marijuana growing seemed to be on the rise.

“We have more and more ‘grow ops’ across the country,” he told reporters in Ottawa. “You wouldn’t see that 10 years ago.”

Constitutional rights questioned

A key question in the Supreme Court decision was whether Parliament has the constitutional right to punish marijuana possession, given the lack of proven serious harms from its use.

The high court examined three cases involving two pot activists and one man who was caught smoking. All three failed to persuade lower courts that the pot law is unconstitutional.

Defendant David Malmo-Levine took a hit of hash last May before arguing his case in person at the high court while dressed head-to-toe in clothes made of hemp cloth. He once ran the Harm Reduction Club, a non-profit cooperative in Vancouver that offered advice on safe marijuana use while supplying it to some 1,800 members.

Another case centered on Christopher Clay, who ran the Hemp Nation in London, Ontario, a store he started with a government loan. He sold marijuana seeds and seedlings in a deliberate challenge to the law.

Last week Martin said he planned to reintroduce a bill, first proposed under former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, that would wipe out potential jail time and criminal records for those convicted of marijuana possession.

The bill did not legalize the drug, and maintained or increased already stiff penalties for large-scale growers and traffickers. It made possession of less than 15 grams of pot a minor offense punishable by fines of $100 to $400, much like traffic tickets.

Critics said 15 grams, the equivalent of roughly 15 to 20 joints, was too much to equate with casual use.

But the legislation died when Parliament adjourned last month to give Martin a fresh start in January.
© 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Sheesh, I just thought that the third paragraph was really ridiculous! I don't smoke anything, but I've certainly read numerous thread in this forum alluding to its' use. I'm glad it is still illegal in Canada and in the U.S.!
I caught a bit of this on PBS and the commentary had to do with such regulation being more in the scope of the Provinces. Sorry, it was only the last of the piece. But if this is true, wouldn't you folks be better off, all things considered, than folks in California?
Are you worried that the gear made up
north will be of a lesser quality if the
workers can't use their bong during assembly?
I believe the rights of people should be abridged only when their rights harm others and that persons are responsible for their actions.
Legalize recreational drugs(including alcohol) to remove a revenue steam from criminals but make operating motor vehicles(including aircraft and ships) under their influences felonies.
The free access of both alchohol and dope would do nothing to increase the quality of life of anyone. I have friends who are crippled or dead from the use/misuse of these things.

The American Constitution does not allow for the regulation of either of these items so I don't think they have the right to try, but at the same time I am opposed to the unrestricted use of these items.

I am a wine drinker, and occasionally (less tha once a month) participate in the consumation of mixed drinks, but I think our culture is too immature to be given the freedom of unfettered access to potentially destructive drugs.
I do know that a lot the music that I used to listen to(former Deadhead) doesn`t sound as good as it used to. I just praise the Lord that He kept me alive and sane during those lost days.
I must have missed something. Where would the serious blow to Canadian audiophiles originate?
Am I missing something here?! How is the legalization of a drug that, like most, has a detrimental effect upon ones senses, which would include the almighty auditory sense, have anything whatsoever to do with Audiophilia?! Well, I guess it must be a devastating blow to Dead-Head audiophiles up north. I also do enjoy red wine. I believe legal alchohol consumption causes FAR more damage to lives and property and to the souls of people and families, than either legal or illegal use of marijuana could ever accomplish. It is utterly absurd that indulgence in alchohol remains legal, while millions of dollars are simultaneously being spent keeping the demon weed off the streets. Were it made legal and commercial in this country it would have the potential to wipe out a tremendous portion of the national debt through government taxation and regulation. Instead we are spending millions prosecuting people, some who are as 'innocent' as any of us who indulge in alchohol because the drug they prefer is not favored by the political powers that be. No, I don't smoke at all, and actually do not enjoy the effects marijuana has on me. As far as the American public being able to handle the freedom and responsibilities that would come with such a bold political move, well shit, much of the American public can't even handle the responsibility of driving an automobile safely, yet it is pretty simple and inexpensive to obtain and maintain a licence to drive, and to purchase a car. Most certainly many don't handle the freedom of the access to buy and consume alchohol with any sense of responsibility or respect for others. The level of physical impairment and the dangers inherint in the use/abuse of alchohol has FAR more serious implications than the same kind of abuse of marijuana. I just don't get it.

As far as being an audiophile, my only comment would be that the use of any substance that impairs one's sense of hearing seems contradictory to many of the issues that drive us to purchase such esoteric gear to squeeze every ounce of musicality and performance out of our audiophile dollars. I'm not saying that a glass of wine cannot enhance ("alter" is probably a better word there) ones experience of music, but I'd say the kind of enhancement has little to do with ones discriminating many of the qualities and subtleties that are discussed ad nauseum on these forums. Alchohol does impair all of the senses, there is no question about it. Your hearing will not be as good under the infleuence of a couple of glasses of wine, as it is when sober.

Please, for god's sake, don't drink and listen! Oh, and pour me another glass of the Zinfandel please.

Marco- I agree with most of what you have written with one exception that may be significant. Much of the marijuana available in the US today is FAR more potent than it was 20-30 yrs ago. So potential harm of use while driving/operating machinery, etc. is far greater, as well. Pragmatist is right about severe penalties for DUI of any drug.
A Canadian's perspective . I totally agree with Jax2's comments. North America will never be able to get a handle on the growing and distribution of marijuana. It's not a moral issue but rather an issue of economics $$$$$$$. If govt's spending to stop this dangerous drug (Ha, Ha, Ha) is going no where why continue to waste taxpayers money? Put the cultivation and distribution under govt. control and turn it in to a revenue creating product instead. NAAAAAA that would never work, it's too straight forward for our govt politicans to try to figure out.
Swampwalker - Absolutely agreed; drugs/alchohol and driving/operating heavy machinery and automobiles should not be mixed. I didn't mean to imply otherwise, but I see where you may have infered that from what I wrote (thank you for bringing it to my attention). I do believe the physical impairments resulting from achohol abuse are greater than those from the abuse of marijuana. Neither should be considered as an acceptable precurser to driving and, yes, penalties should be made very stiff. Anyone who's been victamized by such an abuse, as I have, will likely agree there is simply no excuse for that kind of disregard for others. All too many have lost loved ones to such selfish and thoughtless behavior. I cannot imagine the impact and depth of such a loss. Yet it happens every day!

Marco- I did not think that you endorsed driving while under the influence. I just wanted to point out that for those whose experience may be 20-30 yrs old, that things have changed dramatically. Its like the difference between 3.2 beer and 200 proof grain alcohol. Happy Holidays to all!
The industry that has been created to track, arrest, build prisons, prosecute, defend, incarcerate and manage the probation/parole of pot users is so vast that nobody has any dollar figures. It's absolutely insane. It can't be stopped and the profits are now going to some very unsavory characters. This is a system? Well, give me a break. Swampwalker, I don't know where you were in the old days but the shit then was as good as the shit now and one hell of a lot cheaper. Addiction is what everyone fears but consider all the other things that such a person can become addicted to. Hell, take away all mind altering substances and an addictive personality will overindulge in sex, work or some other harmful activity such as AUDIO.
The government sanctioned recreational drug, alcohol is a far more dangerous drug than pot. I dont know of anyone who beat their wife, lost there family, wreaked their car, killed someone on the highway or in a rage.....because they smoked pot. The 'war on drugs' is really the war against drugs that the government, or big contributor pharmaceutical companies are not making their dime on. That being said, I can hear better without any drugs in my system. But to each his own, moderation is advised.....cheers, and heres a light.....
Once they have your head, everything else will fall into line.

Consider how it actually became illegal. Alcohol lobbiests prevailed upon legislators to ban the profit reducing competition. Consider how it became such a dangerous drug. Nixon was afraid of the blacks, and it was imagined that a war on drugs would help. But without marijuana included, the statistics could never be high enough to warrant the vast expense.

Whatever you believe to be the justification now, we were lied to and manipulated into surrendering the manifest right to the control of our own heads, by people with nothing more honorable than greed and racism as a motivation.

Congrats to Canada for even getting this into public discourse, and good luck with reason ultimately winning out.
1) Pot is a stimulant, alcohol is a depressant
2) While I wouldn't choose to get in a vehicle operated by, or be operated on by a surgeon who was under the influence of either, if I was forced to, I'd take my chances with the one under the influence of THC every time
3) I don't know how old you are Lugnut, but I'd agree with Swampwalker that current pot is much more potent than the stuff from 20-30 years ago-simply a matter of improving technology and agriculture
4) North American governments waste hideous amounts of money needlessly incarcerating people with small amounts of pot for personal use; they should legalize or at least decriminalize possession of small amounts for such purpose but enforce laws similar to those relating to alcohol with respect to operating machinery
5) Tax it and improve the economy
6) Governments should not be involved in growing; the Canadian government has already proven how hopeless this concept is-medicinal users have returned government pot because of its poor quality!

It is simply absurd that alcohol and tobacco are legal and that pot is not.
Hdm, I beleive you are mistaken, Pot is a depressant (although TCH has been shown to have theraputic affects For those who suffer from cronic depression).

However, I do believe both you and Pragmatist are on the right track legalize drugs, tax the hell out of them and put the money spent frivilously fighting a war you cannot win to better use.

Another thing we haven't touched upon is the crimes related to drug trafficing, most of which could be eliminated with in a short period of time by opening up the market to legitimate buisness men/women.

After all we are essentially a drug culture. Pharmacutical companies spend billions pushing there products, while some insurance companies refuse to pay a provider for thier service if a perscription is not written. Really unfornunate isn't it.
Hey Lugnut- So that's why I spend so much time overindulging in audio now ;~) My wife thinks its because I'm obsessive-compulsive, but now I can tell its just a side effect of my rehabilitation.
Interesting debate folks, a lot of different views of what is considered an old "problem". Canada has decided to stop filling the courts and jails with pot smokers and fine them instead, I think that's a sensible thing to do. I agree with everyone who has pointed out that pot is more potent today than ever, and, that alcohol is a far greater problem than THC. THC is not a stimulant (trust me). Personally, I think the world needs to outlaw guns of any kind, and legalize tokes. Happy holidays all.
".....legalize drugs, tax the hell out of them and put the money spent frivilously fighting a war you cannot win to better use."

Ohh yeah, maybe save up for rebuildig L.A. after it goes up in a mushroom cloud.

"Consider how it became such a dangerous drug. Nixon was afraid of the blacks, and it was imagined that a war on drugs would help. But without marijuana included, the statistics could never be high enough to warrant the vast expense."

Your right, before Nixon Pot was just gumdrops and sugar canes. I think you been smoking a little to much yourself, you become what poor Nixon was, P A R A N O I D.

Well, Merry Christmas all. On this day of thanks, I now realize just how much I have to be thankful for.
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Thanks everyone for your interesting posts. Although I do not endulge in the use of illicit substances, I am certainly not prepared to condemn those who might chose to do so in a responsible manner. I understand the sentiment to legalise marijuana to relieve the burden on the courts, remove the criminal element from its' production and distribution and perhaps become a source of funding for the government. However, there is abundant evidence to suggest the young persons who use cannabis are far more likely to use more dangerous drugs. Additionally, smoking cannabis regularly has been shown quite convincingly to result in high rates of lung cancer and chronic cognitive problems.
Thsalmon, could you please provide references to these studies that have "shown quite convincingly to result in high rates of lung cancer and chronic cognitive problems"?
I believe you are mistaken.
I do not reside in the Dominion of Canada and do not follow its politics day to day. Does Canada still subsidize audio r and d or is it only the speaker lab?

PSB,Paradigm,Magnum Dynalab,Simm, Morrison and others I've obviously missed put out fine products. If audio is still supported,will the supports end anytime soon?
J Clin Pharmacol, 42(11 Suppl): 103S-107S 2002
J Clin Pharmacol, 42(11 Suppl): 7S-10S 2002
Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique, 48(5): 473-83 2000
J Natl Cancer Inst, 90(16): 1198-205 1998
J Immunol, 165(1): 373-80 2000
J Psychoactive Drugs, 26(3): 285-8
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol, 20(6): 1286-93 1999
J Int Neuropsychol Soc, 9(5): 679-89 2003
Neurotoxicol Teratol, 25(4): 427-36
Hum Psychopharmacol, 18(2): 89-90 2003
Neurology, 59(9): 1337-43 2002

Let me know if you need any other references, asdf@
12-24-03: Hdm
1) Pot is a stimulant, alcohol is a depressant
2) While I wouldn't choose to get in a vehicle operated by, or be operated on by a surgeon who was under the influence of either, if I was forced to, I'd take my chances with the one under the influence of THC every time
3) I don't know how old you are Lugnut, but I'd agree with Swampwalker that current pot is much more potent than the stuff from 20-30 years ago-simply a matter of improving technology and agriculture

I have to tackle all three of these arguments. First, pot is usually classified as a "hallucinogen" neither stimulant or depressant though it can have effects similar to either in different users at different times.

Second, the only big study on pot and driving was done last year in Brittain and showed pot smokers were safer drivers than those on alcohol or the controls who took neither.

And about quality, the best pot today is as strong as the best pot in the 1970s. Trust me, I was there. The quality of pot today is uniformly good. It's hard to find "bad" pot today. In the 70s, you really had to search to find good pot. But when you did, an ounce or more could be had for $10.

In the 70s there were no multi-billion buck drug lords or prison lords. Now we have both. And guess who pays?

One reason there is no legal pot is because it is so easy to grow that there is almost no commercial potential. There would be nothing to tax because most smokers would either grow their own or their friends would grow for them. The tobacco companies wouldn't be able to cash in because there would be only a small market and that would likely remain a "black" market. That's why those companies support The Partnership for a Drug Free America and the dubius D.A.R.E. program.

Sorry that my references aren't from Rolling Stone, Mother Jones or cannabisnews.com. Where are your references?

Canada does not subsidize speaker R&D. I don't know if they still do but the NRC at one time did allow speaker manufacturers the use of it's anechoic chamber. The larger companies have now built their own. The government may have tax benefits available to speaker manufacturers the same as they would for other businesses but that would be the same as I imagine it would in the States. Tell me though, are you all still subsidizing your farmers?

As to the other thing, to each his/her own. If you aren't harming anyone (not using & driving), if your kids are fed and well looked after, if your bills are paid on time, then do whatever it is that floats your boat. There is enough misery in the world today. We don't want to be incarcerating people for doing something that is less harmful than gettin caught. AIDS is far more deadly than pot or alcohol and if you are going to jail then you've got an excellent chance of getting that. Best to leave the soap where it falls. If you don't want to smoke pipeweed then don't. No one will force you. I just can't afford the government machinery that keeps it illegal. Any social programs we would have in lieu of the anti-pot establishment would be far cheaper and certainly more effective. Sooner or later some country will get it right. Oh yes, the Netherlands. I don't believe their pot use is much higher than it is in North America.

Perhaps I was not clear enough in my statement above, so here goes.

Pot is indeed a stimulant; it is somewhat unique in that it is also a depressant. Your point about how it affects different users is well taken, though. As to its classification as a hallucigen, my thought on that is that it is a little off base. Your point on the driving study illustrates that perfectly and gets to what I was trying to say-we are more in agreement than disagreement here. Would you rather get in a car with a pot smoker or an LSD (a true hallucigen) user?

As to your point on concentration of THC, your analogy of good and bad may be correct, but there was a lot of "bad" pot in the 70's. I was there too. I think we're splitting hairs on this one if we agree that there is uniformly better (or worse depending on which side of the argument you're on) pot out there. And there is no doubt in my mind that growers in the past 20-30 years have worked on improving the product-hence the consistent availability of "better" pot.

As to legalization-taxation, the Netherlands is clearly reaping some economic reward with its system. And although I've never been there, I found it interesting when an acquaintance told me of the strong popularity and esteem in which Canadian marijuana is held in the Netherlands. So there are obviously differences based on growing techniques, breeding, etc. My feeling is that's not much different than the respect that certain single malt scotches deserve, but that's a matter open to debate I suppose.

Sadly,the United States is still subsidizing farmers. The worst instance is tobacco. Before the US election two and a half years ago,welfare payments to farmers were increased by 87 billion dollars.

This is a gross oversimplification but democrats tend to give welfare payments to people;republicans give welfare payments to corporations. The recent energy bill was so shamefull that even the republicans were embarrased by it.

I'm not a biologist but it seems to me that the carcinogins in smoke can be avoided by extracting the thc from cannabis and absorbing it through the digestive tract.
Having grown up in Nebraska I can tell you where the "bad pot" of the 70's came from. August was the month for arrests of out of state entrepreneurs that came to harvest hemp in my former state. You could smoke a truck load of the stuff and only get a headache. It was leftover from the early railroad days when hemp rope was in high demand and was found in abundance along railroad right of ways. Those plants grew well over twenty feet under the right conditions. I suppose the entrepreneurs cut it into other, higher quality grass. Hell, I don't know what they did with the stuff but it went to some market somewhere.

I haven't bought the stuff in years but still partake on occassion when offered. Having grown up on Panama Red, Columbian Gold, Thai Stick and Mexican Bud, I will state in no uncertain terms that the California, Canadian and Hawaiian stinky stuff is fine but not better than the other offerings I've had since 1964. The "much more potent" comment is an urban legend that would never stand up under close inspection. The same can be said of most of the studies cited here. Liars figure and therefore figures can be made to lie.

Before you write me off as being biased in favor of people being stoned please consider the basis of my opinion. Experience has shown me that the biggest threat to non-users is not being able to find any potato chips in the convience store on a Friday or Saturday night since all the pot heads snarfed them up early. I've never known anyone that was ripped committing and act of violence or causing any kind of harm to others. And, for this threat to the public we are given an enormous machine that costs beyond what anyone can actually estimate? Again, think: Jails, prisons, courtrooms, judges, police, gaurds, probation officers, parole officers, lawyers, lawyers and more f***ing lawyers.

Even William F. Buckley considers legalization the only rational remedy. I'm at a point in my life where I don't care if I ever see another bud again and have been there for more than a decade. I do oppose the burden being borne by taxpayers to support an industry that serves no real purpose.

Humans and most other animal species seek substances that provide a temporary escape from reality. Elephants seek out fermented fruit. Horses and donkeys seek out loco weed. Cats crave catnip. Even bees get drunk. Staggering drunk. Confused drunk. Mankind has been fermenting alcohol and consuming halucinogens since long before the pyramids. Even the oldest discovered societies in France and South America left evidence of use. The need for a temporary escape from reality is part of the human condition and to fight it is folly. How much more evidence is needed? The war on drugs is one that will never be won.

Addiction is the emotional hot button that continues to drive the parasitic industry that costs more than we can compute. Treatment for addicts would cost society a fraction of what we now spend and yield real results. It is the addictive personality that concerns us and yet we pay dearly to incarcerate rather than treat. It doesn't make any sense to me, but then again I may have damaged my brain copping a buzz now and again.

Roughly 50% of middle age males in North America have used pot at one time or another. If it were not for lawyers entering politics, writing legislation that only provides work for their growing legions, we would not be where we are today. Give me no LIP (lawyers in politics).
I was thinking comparatively about Tobacco. I suppose the curing, selecting, and blending process tobacco undergoes would make it more difficult to the homegrower. Unlike Marijuana which is easily grown and prepared for consumption. A lot of states in the US have basically "decriminalized" possession. For instance, possession of less than 28 grams will be a misdemeanor. So long as you can prove it was not for distribution. Meaning the Pot would be contained in one container along with possession of apparatus for smoking, like a pipe or papers. I really ride the fence on this issue so its hard for me to formulate an opinion. Anywho, its food for thought nonetheless.

Pragmatist, "gross oversimplification" indeed, and fairly inaccurate as well. But I digress, hoi palloi politics are mostly ideology and cannot be proved either way. The "energy bill" you speak of, was in writing in its last form, and it looked right smart to me. With all he "corporate welfare" as you might call it, as rewards for renewable power, clean air, technology, long term updates, exploration, etc. etc.

As evidenced by the latest power difficulties, the last thing we need to do as a nation, is cripple our power industry. We are a capitalist country and if it isnt already obvious, the companies will do nothing if we dont dangle a carrot of profits in their nose. Companies are not so indifferent from people. It would be obsurd to expect someone to do something, anything, for absolutely nothing. More food for thought.

We obviously disagree on the energy bill;it will interest me to see what finally comes out of conference.

I stand by my statement about welfare. Obviously corporations have the rights to profitabilities but subsidies,by whatever namesdistort prices so that capital deployments are less efficient and real prices rise as their results.
Thsalmon: Below are some excerpts from the first six of your "references" that purport to prove your point and they are hardly convincing. Each study is either irrelevant or inconclusive. Also, It seems that many of these studies don't discriminate between use and abuse of a recreational drug. My own comments are between curly brackets {}.

1) Further epidemiological studies are necessary to confirm the association of marijuana smoking with head and neck cancers and to examine marijuana smoking as a risk factor for lung cancer. {Inconclusive}
2) ...more studies are needed that focus on disentangling effects of marijuana from those of other drugs and adverse environmental conditions. {Inconclusive}
3) This has implications for marijuana as cancer risk factor. {Inconclusive: this is the strongest "conclusion" regarding health risk in this whole article.}
4) METHODS: Bronchoscopy was performed in 104 healthy volunteer subjects, including 28 nonsmokers and 76 smokers of one or more of the following substances: marijuana, tobacco, and/or cocaine. {Inconclusive since it's not specific}
5) In two different weakly immunogenic murine lung cancer models, intermittent administration of THC (5 mg/kg, four times/wk i.p. for 4 wk) led to accelerated growth of tumor implants compared with treatment with diluent alone. {Above quantity is ridiculous. 0.1mg/kg is required to get high. If you inject enough of just about anything into healthy cells, they will develop carcinoma.}
6) ...it remains to be confirmed that smoking cannabis alone leads to the development of chronic lung disease. {Inconclusive}

You're going to have to do better than cut and paste the impressive looking (to some, I suppose) results from a google search to convince anybody that there are studies proving the harm from cannabis use. I didn't assert anything, therefore I need not present references in support. I only called on you to provide references for your false assertion.

And, in reply to your bogus claim regarding cannabis as a "gateway" drug: I'm sure that one could prove caffeine is a gateway drug. No doubt over 99% of heroin users started with either Coca-cola, Dr. Pepper, or coffee. Therefore caffeine is an insiduous precursor to heroin addiction. What a ridiculous argument. Let me know if you can provide any references whatsoever that actually support your assertions, Thsalmon.
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Your analysis is clearly flawed, to say the least. It is also quite simple to conclude from your statements that you haven't read many scientific papers and that you are probably not acquainted with statistics or the scientific method. Virtually every paper in every scientific journal I read ends with some statement implying "further research is necessary." That is how the researchers justify further funding to complete their work! You seem to believe that it means that the data is "inconclusive." Furthermore, you cannot seem to understand how findings of a high proportion of premalignant cells in bronchial washings from marijuana smokers, laboratory evidence of the teratogenicity of THC and reports of advanced lung or head and neck cancers in young users of marijuana could be relevant. I suppose that you are either unable/unwilling to digest the body of information on the adverse effects of marijuana use or that you choose to ignore it due to personal bias. Your statement regarding soft drinks and heroin use additionally exposes an ignorance of the difference between association and causation. Interestingly, the tobacco industry uses the same sort of tactics (systematic and selection bias, inappropriate interpretation of confounding factors, differences between association and causation, etc.) to deny the adverse health effects of tobacco.

Your debating tactics are similarly underhanded. You have asserted that I am mistaken, and I have provided you evidence to the contrary. You then accuse me of "cutting and pasting" from a Google search," which is not the case. Next, you make your own very selective, systematically biased conclusions based solely upon a few words gleaned from the abstracts of the papers. Then to top it all off, you state that you have asserted nothing and therefore do not have to back up your statements with any evidence whatsoever. Ay carumba!

Maybe the abstract from the last reference on my list could be helpful to you.

Dose-related Neurocognitive Effects of Marijuana Use

Neurology, 59(9): 1337-43 2002

K.I. Bolla, PhD, K. Brown, MPH, D. Eldreth, BA, K. Tate, BA and J.L. Cadet, MD
From the Department of Neurology (Dr. Bolla and D. Eldreth), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Hopkins Bayview Research Campus; and Molecular Neuropsychiatry Section (K. Brown, K. Tate, and Dr. Cadet), NIH/NIDA-IRP, Baltimore, MD.

Background: Although about 7 million people in the US population use marijuana at least weekly, there is a paucity of scientific data on persistent neurocognitive effects of marijuana use.

Objective: To determine if neurocognitive deficits persist in 28-day abstinent heavy marijuana users and if these deficits are dose-related to the number of marijuana joints smoked per week.

Methods: A battery of neurocognitive tests was given to 28-day abstinent heavy marijuana abusers.

Results: As joints smoked per week increased, performance decreased on tests measuring memory, executive functioning, psychomotor speed, and manual dexterity. When dividing the group into light, middle, and heavy user groups, the heavy group performed significantly below the light group on 5 of 35 measures and the size of the effect ranged from 3.00 to 4.20 SD units. Duration of use had little effect on neurocognitive performance.

Conclusions: Very heavy use of marijuana is associated with persistent decrements in neurocognitive performance even after 28 days of abstinence. It is unclear if these decrements will resolve with continued abstinence or become progressively worse with continued heavy marijuana use.

And regarding my “bogus” assertion that marijuana is a “gateway” drug, you might find this interesting.

Escalation of Drug Use in Early-Onset Cannabis Users vs Co-twin Controls

Michael T. Lynskey, PhD; Andrew C. Heath, DPhil; Kathleen K. Bucholz, PhD; Wendy S. Slutske, PhD; Pamela A. F. Madden, PhD; Elliot C. Nelson, MD; Dixie J. Statham, MA; Nicholas G. Martin, PhD

JAMA. 2003;289:427-433.

Context: Previous studies have reported that early initiation of cannabis (marijuana) use is a significant risk factor for other drug use and drug-related problems.

Objective: To examine whether the association between early cannabis use and subsequent progression to use of other drugs and drug abuse/dependence persists after controlling for genetic and shared environmental influences.

Design: Cross-sectional survey conducted in 1996-2000 among an Australian national volunteer sample of 311 young adult (median age, 30 years) monozygotic and dizygotic same-sex twin pairs discordant for early cannabis use (before age 17 years).

Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported subsequent nonmedical use of prescription sedatives, hallucinogens, cocaine/other stimulants, and opioids; abuse or dependence on these drugs (including cannabis abuse/dependence); and alcohol dependence.

Results: Individuals who used cannabis by age 17 years had odds of other drug use, alcohol dependence, and drug abuse/dependence that were 2.1 to 5.2 times higher than those of their co-twin, who did not use cannabis before age 17 years. Controlling for known risk factors (early-onset alcohol or tobacco use, parental conflict/separation, childhood sexual abuse, conduct disorder, major depression, and social anxiety) had only negligible effects on these results. These associations did not differ significantly between monozygotic and dizygotic twins.

Conclusions: Associations between early cannabis use and later drug use and abuse/dependence cannot solely be explained by common predisposing genetic or shared environmental factors. The association may arise from the effects of the peer and social context within which cannabis is used and obtained. In particular, early access to and use of cannabis may reduce perceived barriers against the use of other illegal drugs and provide access to these drugs.

Sorry I can’t supply full text versions of these articles, because they are copy-written documents.

Anyway, it really doesn’t bother me if adults choose to use the substance in a responsible manner. However, society shouldn’t have to foot the cost of the long term consequences. To expose children to the drug is, and should remain, a felonious act. There is substantial evidence of health risk with regular marijuana use, particularly to the young. To deny it is absurd. There might be legitimate therapeutic uses for THC in medicine, but there is no compelling evidence to suggest that THC is superior in efficacy or safer that existing medications.

I still think that the Canadian pot activist’s statement in the original post is funny. That's why I wanted others to read it.
Elizabeth, I understand the point, but don't you know that the politicians would spend far more than they would collect anyway?
12-27-03: Pragmatist

"I'm not a biologist but it seems to me that the carcinogins in smoke can be avoided by extracting the thc from cannabis and absorbing it through the digestive tract."

Smoking produces a different high than eating. Most users will continue to smoke. Dose control is also easier when smoking and the effect is almost immediate which most users want.

Pot hasn't been linked directly to any cancers in any consclusive way. If there was such a link it would be plastered over the front page in every paper in the country. It just doesn't exist. The drug warriorers have been looking dilligently for this link for decades. They have failed.

The healthiest way to injest post is to smoke very small amounts of the strongest pot available. The stronger the pot the less you need to smoke. Concentrated versions such as hash oil should be the safest since there is the least non-active substance being injested. Strange how the safest versions have the highest legal consequences.
"warriorers".....LOL. I am sorry I just couldnt resist. I know, I know, I misspell as well. Its just the context, I couldnt refuse.