Know the Warning Signs: The Dangers of Drug Policy Abuse

Does your legislator have a drug policy problem? That’s the question asked by a series of videos satirizing Canadian lawmakers who advocate for get-tough drug laws. Produced by the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC), the would-be public service announcements make the case that the real drug problem in Canada stems from bad policy, not drugs themselves.

“Your politician is showing all the symptoms of ‘Drug Policy Abuse,’” reads the CDPC website. “They refuse to engage in an open and honest discussion of drug use, and instead rehash outdated, fear-based policies, dismissing research that supports new and innovative approaches.” The site goes on to gravely implore readers, “It’s time you had ‘the talk.’”

“The talk” is the one Canadians need to have with their leaders, and the CDPC website provides links to those politicians’ Twitter feeds so visitors can do just that. Ultimately the campaign hopes to show that politicians don’t need to suffer from Drug Policy Abuse.

Around the world, there are jurisdictions at the national and local levels exploring more effective alternatives to the failed, criminalization-focused drug war. And at the level of the United Nations, more and more countries are proposing that international drug treaties need to be modernized and reformed.

The conversation is happening.

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I'm convinced that prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011 a study at the University of Colorado found that, in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan--while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It's the most benign 'substance' in history. And most people--and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana--use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

I recently reviewed the Federal Census stats on yearly driving fatalities state by state, from 1990 to 2009. All states, 'legal' or not, have seen their death rates drop, but on average, those with medical marijuana laws have posted declines 12% larger than the non-medical states. Public Safety Announcements and vehicles with airbags must have helped as well, consistently throughout the country, without affecting the disproportion between the 'legal states' and those 'not yet, in 2009'.

In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote cited statistics revealing that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as "the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating on a motor vehicle is slower driving", which "is arguably a positive thing". Despite occasional accidents, eagerly reported by police-blotter ‘journalists’ as ‘marijuana-related’, a mix of substances was often involved. Alcohol, most likely, and/or prescription drugs, nicotine, caffeine, meth, cocaine, heroin, and a trace of the marijuana passed at a party last week. However, on the whole, as revealed in big-time, insurance-industry stats, within the broad swath of mature, experienced consumers, slower and more cautious driving shows up in significant numbers. Legalization should improve those numbers further.

Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuro-protectant which actually encourages brain-cell growth. Research in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries has discovered that it has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one's arm. 'The works of Man are flawed.'

Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. “Cannabis” in Latin, and “kaneh bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. But Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kaneh bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

I am appalled at the number of 'Christian' politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated by most of the world’s major religions.

William - You pst "generalities" with NO PROOF to back them up.
1. Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated by most of the world’s major religions. = which world's major religions? Hmmm?

2. No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It's the most benign 'substance' in history.

Where is proof of this claim? And if its so benign - then why are babies born of MJ smoking mom's affected? My GYN has delivered quite a few babies affected and she disputes your statement.

3. In November of 2011 a study at the University of Colorado found that, in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan- POST this supposed study. I can't find it anywhere.

It have been a big challenge to managaned free zone Drugs here in Kenya.

My intention seems its your Main core value to educate our Youth, Communities in our Nation as well the International partners.

In regards of a community or Country have to achieve the goals/ vission, then its their responsibility to put theiq so called Youth ahead.

In connection I mean the most affected party being our Youth.

Therefore lets all stands for the right of youth by creating/ associating jobs for

Thanks in advance.

MOHAMED YARE

Thanks very much for supporting to stop drug abuse ,am from kenya and i need to work closer you guys

This is really challenge issue for the some developing countries, particularly for the one single-party system country.

In some countries, the drugs 'amphetamine, etc' are become the main sources of incomes for many political party members and it become more worse, when they trade it with the young people.

As the above, UN agencies such as UNODC must play its roles in collaboration with CSOs and other community-based organizations to prevent/break out this human destructive weapon in the societies.

Best,

William-Baloney. You have NO PROOF to back up your points. Post the sources you used to write this nonsensical opinion piece please.

legelize pot and their will be less drug abuse.

We need to continue to bring awareness and education to our communities . Thank you for your efforts and making positive differences for everyone.

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