Monday, November 12, 2007

Marijuana: RCMP Think of the Children

Vancouver Province looked at marijuana legalization this weekend. They printed and interview with Larry Campbell (Pro legalization) and the RCMP’s Scott Rintoul (Drug warrior)

Campbell’s opinions are well known, Rintoul’s plain stupid.

Province: Sgt. Scott Rintoul mans the RCMP's drug-awareness bureau in B.C. Well-acquainted with the arguments for legalizing marijuana, he challenges the legal-pot advocates to consider one important point -- our children.

"It has to be our priority. They're our future," Rintoul says.

Yes, let us think of the children, i.e., teenagers. Tell them just what just Rintoul said. Those that do not burst out laughing, will certainly roll their eyes. I am dead serious. Walk into, for example, a grade 11 or 12 law class and try out that line on them.

"The majority does not smoke marijuana [or] drink [or] use

Granted Vancouver is not Moscow or Prague, but to suggest there are more people who do not drink then who do is ridiculous. There are more vegetarians than teetolers.

"Marijuana is an addictive drug.

Yeah what are the symptoms? Be specific. Maybe a headache and irritability for chronic users, but that would be grounds for banning caffeine tobacco too.

We do have people in the city of Vancouver who are suffering a dependency on cannabis [who] are going through treatment, yet you never hear that. Ten or 20 per cent of marijuana users have a problem with cannabis.

Oh yes “psychological dependency”. Anything where routine and repetition are involved could lead to “psychological dependency”. There are people with obsessive compulsive disorder who are psychologically dependent on hand soap, but that is hardly a reason to bane hand soap. Many scholars have argued that the term is politically motivated and was designed to obscure the fact that marijuana is not physically addictive the way, say alcohol and heroin can be. Whatever the term’s origins, it is certainly employed by the drug warriors to serve political ends.

Indeed, the number of people seeking treatment for marijuana dependence in the States is indeed decently large, but the vast majority according to most studies (70% and above) are there because they were given a choice when charged with possession: “Treatment” or jail. In true Orwellian fashion, the US government turns around and uses the number of people it forces in “treatment” as proof of the dangers of marijuana.

As for Canada, the numbers are not large, but of the 6300 people in Ontario (population 12.1 million and anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million users) seeking help for marijuana dependency in 2005, most reported being coerced into treatment and not being there of their own violation. Most were male single, under age 20 and in high school. Legal system involvement and school- or family-based pressure to enter treatment were the commonly reported cause of their seeking treatment. It should also be noted that only 13% of people seeking help drug treatment in Ontario in 2005 were marijuana users even though the number of marijuana users dwarfs the number of heroin and cocaine users. In other words, the figures Rintoul sites are utter fiction.

"[Pot advocates] are trying to legitimize something for perhaps an adult or a young professional -- and I think that's wrong at the expense of young people."

Translated: Rintoul is saying that he can not offer any kind of argument for why an “adult” or “young professional” should not be allowed to consume marijuana, but my god think of the children. Listening to Rintoul you would think that the senate committee, that recommended legalization, said that they saw no reason why children as young as 6 be permitted to purchase marijuana.

Rintoul also argues that a black market in marijuana would still exist if it were legal, since growers would try to avoid paying tax on it.

Yeah and there is a huge black market in home made wine and moonshine. Look, people will still grow it for their own consumption and there will still be smuggling so long as it is illegal in the States. However, no one is going to be buying pot from the local hood when they could go purchase it legally from a liquor store. The main reason is quality control. If it was legal and regulated, people would know exactly what they were getting, they would know that it was not laced with anything and just how strong it is etc.

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