Letters: Cannabis can be controlled

More responses to Cpl. Scott HIlderley's comments on marijuana prohibition

Once again, Cpl. Scott Hilderley seems to misunderstand the case against the criminal prohibition of cannabis (“Sparking up the marijuana debate,” letters, March 21).

The question is not whether or not cannabis should exist, or whether or not young people should consume it, but rather, what is the optimal regulatory model for preventing harm to consumers, and society in general, from cannabis cultivation and consumption?

As someone responsible for providing and propagating cannabis-related news and information on the Internet, I agree with Cpl. Hilderley that not all such information is equally accurate, unbiased, valuable or  relevant.

While it is true that some critics of cannabis prohibition point out there are vested interests in maintaining the status quo, (no surprise there), I have never seen this observation advanced as the only reason cannabis remains prohibited.

The origins and contemporary causes of cannabis prohibition are much more complicated. Health Canada’s brief synopsis of some of the potential harms from chronic cannabis smoking is not bad, but a little misleading.  For example, while it is true that “Cannabis smoke has some of the same toxic substances that are found in tobacco smoke that can cause cancer,” cannabis has never been shown to cause cancer.  Further, Health Canada neglects to suggest safer, smokeless methods of ingestion.

After reviewing mountains of evidence and interviewing dozens of experts on the subject, the non-partisan committee unanimously recommended that cannabis be controlled in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco, in part to reduce availability to young people, and to facilitate education and prevention. For example, if cannabis were legally regulated, Health Canada’s warning could adorn the packaging.

To advocate alternatives to criminal prohibition is not to condone cannabis consumption, or to disagree with the almost universal opinion that young people should avoid it. Quite the contrary.

Matthew Elrod

Metchosin

Just Posted

Celebration of Life hosted for 29 Victoria trees set to be removed

Community Trees Matter Network hosting “goodbye and thank you” for trees on Fort Street

Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

VRBA director Casey Edge also questions Saanich’s commitment towards housing affordability

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit returns to Royal BC Museum

Exhibit will feature award-winning photographers from around the world

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Most Read