Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Further To Today's Cannabis Debate on CBC Radio One

CBC Radio ... what a gem.

My hunni and I are tree-hugging, Wind Turbine-promoting, Cannabis-smoking, radical-recycling, CBC Radio-listening Canadians.  The station in the car hasn't changed from 107.5 FM in almost a whole year.  Today at noon they had a debate around Cannabis legalization.  The premise was this question:

"Would legalizing pot signal that it's safe?"

As the calls came in, I tweeted my thoughts.  And several times I wished I had paid more attention to the call-in number.  Basically, had I called in ... this is what I wish to have conveyed.

We're asking the wrong question.  Does this question help us make the big decisions?  With proper education, we can control what legalization 'signals' to the public and our youth.

The fact of the matter is, because of capitalism how unsafe a product is, does not hinder it's legality!
Take for example these well-known facts:

Tobacco is legal and unsafe.
Alcohol is legal and unsafe.
Bacon is legal and unsafe.
Nitrates are legal and unsafe.
Triclosan in common hand sanitizer is legal and unsafe.
Aspirin is unsafe yet is taken widely daily.
Acetaminophen is unsafe yet prescribed daily.
The list goes on and on.

A better question in my opinion, would be something like this:

"Is it ethical to keep Cannabis illegal when it holds a zero death toll, while other proven dangerous and toxic substances like Tobacco and Alcohol are allowed to be sold openly?".

The debate brought in so many experienced and educated opinions.  The expert on the panel was Dr. Jurgen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health).  As expected, some of the callers' opinions with Cannabis were positive ones;  others were negative ones.  As each one described their experiences, it just reiterated what I already knew. And that's that we're all unique and Cannabis--like ALL other medications in the world--affect each of us uniquely.

Here's another great question:

"If Cannabis is legalized, and it holds a zero death toll, could lives be saved by simply switching recreational substances?".

It worked for me.  I rarely drink alcohol, and my hunni and I are tobacco free now for over four years.

For next time ... the call in number is 1-888-817-8995 and HERE is the site for CBC Ontario Today with Rita Celli who handled all of these opinions with diplomacy, patience, and genuine curiosity.