As we all know, the Government of Canada in its wisdom, will make Cannabis legal for public consumption—for “recreational” use, on October 17 of this year. This is in spite of all the information we have on the negative effects of this drug. The good thing about this is that people will not be charged with a criminal offense if they are found with the substance on their person. There is no common ground for how it is going to be marketed in the country. Each province and perhaps each city, will go its own way, and no one knows yet which way that will be.
Recently, an editorial appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette, which summed up the experience of the State of Colorado which has legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes over the past five years. According to the article, death by automobile accidents has doubled, and frequently marijuana has been used in conjunction with alcohol. The percentage of homeless people has doubled. Colorado has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the United States. The article stated that possibly the reason is that many homeless people have emigrated to Colorado because of their cannabis policies. In addition to that, the incidence of cannabis use in high school students has increased and according to the article, dropout from school has increased significantly since legalization. The medical officer of health claims, however, that there has been very little increase in visits to emergencies in the state since legalization. This flies in the face of the most recent report from the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia, which states that over 2 million people under the age of 21 have been admitted to emergency rooms across the nation for treatment of adverse effects of marijuana. These include acute paranoid reaction, severe anxiety, depression, and violent behavior.
In the Canadian Medical Association Journal in the past month, there have been two articles concerning side effects or adverse effects of this drug.
In the first article, three elderly males, were admitted to the hospital with severe paranoid behavior. Two the men remained in the hospital for two weeks before they were released on psycho active medication. The third person remains under care.
In the second article a female patient who is suffering from intractable Parkinson’s disease was given marijuana by her niece, and she developed severe hallucinations, which persists to this day, three months after the last ingestion of marijuana. She is under chronic care in a psychiatric unit in Montréal.
I have just finished reading Dr. Gabor Mate’s last book. The book is called “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” and I highly recommend it. Dr. Mate is the author of at least eight books which are bestsellers on the subject of addiction, and dangerous drugs in general. He was the first physician that I know of that enlightened us about the dangers of the usage of methamphetamines, and its derivatives in the treatment of what he considers to be a manufactured disease, called Attention Deficit Disorder. He has also shown that these unfortunate children are highly susceptible to become addicted to other drugs in their future.
Dr. Mate is a physician in Vancouver, B.C. who has spent much of his career as a physician to drug addicts in the infamous Houston Street in Vancouver. He is one of the originators of the safe space for these people in that city. A safe space is a place where drug addicts go to get their drugs, under supervision, and where they can get the drugs and by needle which are clean. Ace facilities have reduced the incidence of infection and death by the sharing of contaminated needles.
Dr. Mate is convinced that people become addicts because they are self-treating due to either chronic physical or emotional pain. Dr. Mate considers addiction to be a disease and not a crime, has been advocating for these unfortunate victims most of his career. He has documented evidence that the vast majority of these unfortunate people have been abused either physically or mentally as children, both in the white and the indigenous population. When it was confined to the indigenous population it was ignored, but now that it has metastasized into the general population is now become a serious concern. This is certainly true in the United States and Europe as well.
His latest book is a must read for anybody who is interested in this phenomenon, which I amongst others have called
“Drug Pandemic Kills”
On the subject of methamphetamines, two weeks ago in Calgary, over 500 young people were admitted to the emergency rooms in the city after a RAVE celebration. They were all suffering from adverse effects of methamphetamines frequently mixed with other addictive medication.
Finally , experts on the subject of addiction, and a recent gathering that I attended are now stating that there should be no such term is “side effects”, or “adverse effects”, and are advocating simply “EFFECTS”!