NewScientist is reporting on a new study by the Berkley Foundation for the UN, that asks how we can minimize the damage to the health and welfare of pot users and society from cannabis use?
While many studies seem to be totally biased to one side or the other of the pot argument, this one acknowledges both the harm of the drug's use and the harm to user and society caused by vigilant enforcement. Further, it notes the comparative harm caused by other illicit drugs and the ones we maintain as legal.
The study shows the that the gateway drug issue is a valid concern but admits that the link is a correlation not an absolute cause.
Do people move on to other drugs because they started using pot or do they move on because they have an addictive or experimenting type personality and would have tried them anyway if available?
The problem is most pronounced with youth (9-15) who by today's standards are not even allowed to use the drugs we accept as legal and reasonably safe. Kids who have the desire, means and freedom to start toking at 9 must largely be in a high risk situation anyway.
I could never understand how a non smoking parent could miss the smell of pot, tobacco or booze on their kids.
They also show that the heavy users do suffer health problems and psychosis but that his level of psychosis is greatly dependant on plant variety, strength and the growing regiment common in indoor hydroponic cannabis. THC psychosis is apparently countered by the compound cannabidiol which is missing from most of today's dominate hydroponic pot varieties and a that step back to normal varieties and growing conditions would greatly lower potency and psychosis rates. A manageable response no different than limiting the quantity of wormwood in absinthe. The admitted physical dangers of using pot were deemed less damaging than either booze or smokes.
Because only 9% of pot users will become dependant compared to the rates of 15% for alcohol, 32% for tobacco, and 23% for heroin the relative harm it causes should be taken into perspective. The level of dependancy is also rated as weaker than all the other drugs mentioned above.
Despite the admitted medical dangers of cannabis only 2 overdoses have ever been proven vs. 200,000 per year for other drugs and the millions of deaths attributed to alcohol and tobacco.
In conclusion the study believes legalization combined with age limits, rigid testing and control of potency would be the best way to limit harm to both users and society, including drying up illicit revenues to gangs, lowering psychosis rates, reducing incarceration rates and moving the supply of cannabis from the sellers of heavier drugs who will have a harder time "selling you up" to a different product.
Add to this the government savings on law enforcement and the earnings on sin tax and it looks like a damn good deal, that said expect it to go nowhere at the U.N
To wade through the complete study go to the Beckley Foundation . I especially found table 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 interesting in that they show alcohol more socially dangerous, toxic, addictive and medically damaging than Cannabis.
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Just feel good story about buying good Canadian products (the few you can find these days)
For Christmas I received a brand new Tilley Airflow LTM3 hat, a nice gift no doubt but the model I really wanted to replace my aged and well worn T3 was the cotton T4 which while missing the snaps has a considerably larger brim than the old hat. For the pale spawn of a redhead like me, a large brim is a very important feature and not having the snaps (which I use a lot) is probably a good thing, now I can't use them to lessen my sun protection,
I took my hat back on Sunday and after deciding on a natural coloured T4 I went to the cash to make my exchange, I casually asked if they had spare parts as the foam floatation insert had long since disintegrated from my old hat. One look at the rag on my head and the sales clerk said we'll just give you a new one. I knew about the warranty but had no proof of my purchase, one of the labels inside was long since gone, and I had no idea how Tilley defined worn out. I was still wearing it after all it couldn't be worn out, could it? After only 17 years? Nah!
Now I certainly didn't need two hats nearly the same so the sales associate/clerk/minion allowed me to pay the difference between replacing my old T3 and a Mocha coloured TH4 made from hemp I had chosen. While the two hats appear to be the same style the courser hemp and the mocha colour make them quite distinct from each other so I'm quite pleased.
Funny thing, if it took me 17 years to wear out one hat and now I have two, I shouldn't have to go back to Tilley until ,oh..2042 or so! I don't know how this is supposed to work as a successful business model but just the same I'm well pleased that what I thought was a extravagant purchase nearly 2 decades ago has played out so well. It does pay to buy good quality domestic products folks, think about that next time Wally Mart has t-shirts that cost less than a fancy coffee at Starbucks.
The best part was I even got to keep my old hat! Of course I'll get shit every time I leave the house wearing it. "You've got two nice hats, why are you wearing that thing?"
I went to high school with Karen Tilley in what seems like a century ago, nice girl, tall, pretty; I hope she doing well and that her father's company continues to prosper.
Never did get that damn piece of floatation foam, Oh well
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Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Ok I've had enough of this crap about evil separatists.
Duceppe knows there is a financial shit storm coming and he also knows that a healthy economy, jobs, the environment, human and labour rights are all just as important to Quebecers be they inside or outside confederation. I'm not scared by the prospect of the Blocs participation because I believe Duceppe is pragmatic enough to know that a coalition will collapse if he pushes the self interest button too much and that he also realizes that what ever consensus they can bang together will be better for everyone than anything the Conservatives would ever offer.
I'm for all for this coalition thingy only because if it works out PR will be a lot less scary to a lot of people. Hell I'd I settle for a 6 week coalition just so someone else could tell us the real state of the books before the next election.
Tonight's lies by Harper were blatant, "The opposition wants to overturn the results of the last election"
"Overturn" my ass.
The results of the election still stand, no seats have been given to the opposition and the totals are still the same, Harper simply cannot attract anyone to support his unpopular partisan agenda as is required under our system. He just does not get it. Canadians don't elect a Prime Minister they elect a parliament and that parliament must choose which party(s) have power, it is simply protocol that the guy with the most gets first kick at the can.
The opposition has no "democratic right" to spank my bottom because I'm a very bad boy.
Liar , liar , liar, not only do they have the right to send Harper packing they also have the obligation to try if he cannot command the confidence of the house. Harper had the chance to offer cooperation and even claimed he wanted to reach out to the opposition, but instead took Machiavellian cheap shots at the other parties, labour, the civil service and women.
Harper is not fit to run a Tim Horton's let alone a country, well maybe that Timmies that fires people for giving crying babies a tim bit, or maybe he'd do slightly better(very slightly) than Robert Mugabe. His inability to see or admitt the problems in the economy is shamefull as I showed in Stupid PM Quotes. MR Harper your university called they want their degree back!!!!
I don't know if tonight's show changed anyone's mind but it certainly shows that Harper is still as manipulative, dishonest and unrepentant as always. The only point he made was "I have better production values", Well Stevie when it comes down to it personal values matter more.
Dion's message was ok but dammit all, they can't be so broke that they can't find a real film crew or edit out the flubs. This is too important to get all cute and use a fuckin web, can this putz do anything right?
Duceppe was good as always, he's a natural
Layton kept the smug in check and hammered the message.
I can understand that the coalition is not selling with lots of people because they apparently don't know or don't like our system(too much American news and history and not enough of our own) but don't lie about it being illegal or unethical. As long as people are so poorly informed this is quite likely political suicide.
This is a lose/lose situation
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