Let science lead pot policy

Editor:

Re: Board of Trade rebuffs reefer rethink, Sept. 3.

Editor:

Re: Board of Trade rebuffs reefer rethink, Sept. 3.

How disappointing to read that the Surrey Board of Trade and its CEO, Anita Huberman, has taken such an outdated, outspoken and uneducated position on this topic.

At a time when federal party leaders like Justin Trudeau, medical experts like CNN’s Dr. Sunjay Gupta, periodicals like Maclean’s and, indeed, a growing swell of popular support in B.C. at 70 per cent for legal changes, our SBOT has chosen to remain with old wives’ tales.

A few points to ponder: the illegality of cannabis has not made it less available in B.C. The product is cheaper and more readily available due to its illicit status. Prohibition ensures management and safety of this product remains in the hands of the criminal element. And it is an expensive and unmitigated disaster from a law-enforcement perspective.

In April, a World Health Organization survey indicated Canadian children and youth are the heaviest users of cannabis in the developed world. So what we have done so far has not worked, and yet Huberman wants more of the same.

If cannabis was indeed a ‘starter’ drug, then global jurisdictions with more liberal cannabis laws would have higher uptake of hard drugs, which is empirically not the case.

Indeed, following decriminalization of all drugs in Portugal in 2001, there has been a reduction in all drug use, including cannabis.

A 2002 Canadian Senate report noted that “early drug legislation was largely based on moral panic, racist sentiment and a notorious absence of debate.” The LeDain Royal Commission in the 1970s concluded criminalization of cannabis had “no scientific basis.”

Unfortunately, in B.C.’s second-largest city, we have some that will not allow science to direct policy.

No one should operate machinery under the influence of cannabis, which is one point SBOT correctly made. However, to state that marijuana use would negatively impact health is laughable, as Health Canada has observed an exponential rise in the number of its medical-marijuana patients prescribed by doctors for a wide array of medical conditions.

Furthermore, to indicate “attention is diminished” misses the point. Perhaps Huberman should refer to cases of Clinton, Bush and Obama, who all inhaled to some extent.

I’d love to see SBOT’s justification for “potential” absenteeism and loss of production. Certainly the Dutch seem to have a vibrant and healthy work environment, and Washington State seems to be surviving.

It was perhaps not unexpected when I read that the SBOT is in support of a new coal terminal, as it was for the South Surrey casino. Perhaps they could take a stance on capital punishment, gay marriage and abortion, for which they are no doubt equally qualified to postulate?

David Hutchinson, Surrey

 

 

Just Posted

RCMP shoot dog in South Surrey after it charges officer

Member of the public not seriously injured after dog bite

VIDEO: Surrey soccer team wins national title for teammate Bassi, killed in car crash last spring

‘It meant the world to us to win it for him,’ says team manager/coach

South Surrey mother leads team of women to build homes in El Salvador

Kelley McNamara and her daughter are to help build a dozen homes in three days

Donation allows Peace Arch Hospital to buy new ventilator

TB Vets donate $73,000 to hospital foundation

Paul Bennett honoured at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awards

Cloverdale man, murdered in June 2018, was one of a number of people to be honoured

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

VIDEO: Townhouse fourth Maple Ridge blaze in less than a day

UPDATE: Fire victims have much to be thankful for, despite loss of pets on Thanksgiving Day

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read

l -->