Saturday, April 24, 2010

Marijuana 420 Yes or No to the War on Drugs?

Oh Cannabis & Marijuana

There are many holidays and official days like Mother's Day and of course Valentines Day. But what about the annual 420 Day on April 20th; Also known as Pot or Weed Day.

Here on the Sunshine Coast hundreds of people have attended a public celebration or thousands privately in their homes. In the city of Vancouver thousands celebrate right in the downtown core and attract a media frenzy!

First of all, here is some background on what 420 Day is from Wikipedia.

420, 4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) refers to consumption of cannabis and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture. The date 4/20 is sometimes referred to as "Weed Day" or "Pot Day".[1]

The term was coined from a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, United States in 1971.[2][3] The teens would meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana outside the school.[4]

In America, aka the U.S., the government spends trillions and billions on War, including the War on Drugs, such as marijuana, and of course the War on Oil, but that's a whole new topic!

Apparently the experts say the biggest drug abuse problem in the United States is prescription drugs which are killing the nation, and soft drugs, even when combined with nasty hard drugs like cocaine or meth, pales in comparison and are merely a blip on the radar. The War on Drugs is a futile misdirected waste of money that could be going to better things like a War on Hunger or Homelessness.

This is a good time to insert: you get more of what you put your attention on, so a War on Anything, even bullying, just get's more of the same. Mother Tersa once turned down an invite to join a March Against War, saying if you they had a March for Peace she would be there! Ok, back to our regular topic of discussion.

One website, SAFER has a graph they say shows marijuana is way safer then alcohol, which is legal in some countries, like Canada and the US.

They expand on 11 points they argue including:

1. Marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol.

2. Deaths from the two substances. There are hundreds of alcohol overdose deaths each year, yet there has never been a marijuana overdose death in history. The consumption of alcohol is also the direct cause of tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year.

3. Alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs, and using just 10 times what one would use to get the desired effect can lead to death. Marijuana is one of – if not the – least toxic drugs, requiring thousands times the dose one would use to get the desired effect to lead to death. This “thousands times” is actually theoretical, since there has never been a recorded case of marijuana overdose.

4. Long-term marijuana use is far less harmful than long-term alcohol use.

5. The United Kingdom's Science and Technology Select Committee considers alcohol far more harmful than marijuana.

6. There has never been a documented case of lung cancer in a marijuana-only smoker, and recent studies find that marijuana use is not associated with any type of cancer. The same cannot be said for alcohol, which has been found to contribute to a variety of long-term negative health effects, including cancers and cirrhosis of the liver.

7. Studies find alcohol use contributes to the likelihood of domestic violence and sexual assault and marijuana use does not.

8. Studies find alcohol use contributes to aggressive behavior and acts of violence, whereas marijuana use reduces the likelihood of violent behavior.

9. Alcohol use is highly associated with violent crime, whereas marijuana use is not.

10. Alcohol use is a catalyst for domestic violence in Denver.

11. Alcohol use is prevalent in cases of sexual assault and date rape on college campuses. Marijuana use is not considered a contributing factor in cases of sexual assault and date rape, as judged by the lack of discussion of marijuana in sexual assault and date rape educational materials.

So I blogged 420 on my facebook profile to see what people thought and got a great number of opinions and comments that varied from legalize it, that it should be regarded as medicine only, if it is legalized it will be legislated to death, it should be kept away from children, alcohol is way worse then pot, and the War on Drugs is a waste of money. Read for yourself below...

Curious what everyone's opinion is on smoking marijuana and the War on Drugs? Tuesday April 20th is 420 day, and I have seen hundreds of people gather at 4:20pm on the Roberts Creek Pier on the Sunshine Coast BC Canada to spark up a fatty and joint in celebration.

19 "Likes" 22 Comments

Pam Copan
So that's where its happening...

Duane Burnett
hope that wasn't top secret. Its an annual location. I was flabbergasted how many were there when I went to cover it as a photo journalist. Most people were quite open too and not afraid of having their pics taken with spliffs the size of a banana! Very peaceful. Very chilled, kind group of easy going people was my experience. Always a few who ruin it but what can you do?

PinkSaphire BlackDiamond
So, I guess that means you shouldn't happen to be out for a walk with your kids, your mother or your grandpa?

Greg Lightbourn
420's ok in some ways but I've been down to the Vancouver rally several times now for the photo op and found it somewhat disturbing to see the young age of some of the children down there fully participating in the smokathon- see the human beings album on my GSL Photography fb page. Would you let your eight to ten year olds participate? They seem to be drawn by the glorification of the weed and the organizers and vendors don't seem to have any problem promoting and selling to the very young.

Kim Kerr Fenton
legalize it.

Julia Hill
Ya Ya and I'll advertise it.

PinkSaphire BlackDiamond
8 - 10 y/o's Greg??

Janet Panic
Pot is a medicine and should be used accordingly . It has now become narcotic in strength and purity . I have seen many many lives go nowhere and a three of my former wake and bake buddies have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Kids in general should not smoke...they should wait until their brains are formed.. or it can be the fiery fumes of failure....

Greg Lightbourn
I agree with Janet; and yes there are many kids who attend and take part in the Vancouver rally- very young- something about that makes me very uncomfortable

Cassandra Langlois
it should be legal... it causes way less probs than alcohol ,which our society encourages...
However i have to agree that kids shouldn't be smoking(chronically anyway) until their brain is finished really forming.. and as a nurse... i have to say.. DON"T SMOKE.. All burning plant material inhaled, harms your lungs,,, consider vaporizing.... (Harm reduction)

Tawha Barboza
It's just a herb.. let people decide if they want to use it.. freedom of choice.

Tawha Barboza
yes, i agree, until maturity - kids stay out of it

Grant Olsen
If it were legalized, like tobacco or alcohol, there would likely be age restrictions...while it is completely outlawed it is equally illegal for a 40 year old to puff one after a day's work as it is for a 10-year old between classes, as it is for an 80 year old with chronic pain. Laws can be written that supports one scenario but not another. Without such a legal framework it's pretty much the wild west out there as far as the status quo is concerned.

Cassandra Langlois
Prohibition is foolish, costly, ineffective and actually incredibly counterproductive.. It has never worked with humans.. Ever! Why keep on doing what doesn't work?

Martin Nichols
You can get an idea of what a fantastic drug it is by reading the array of intelligent and insightful comments posted on the 420 Wall.

James Shaw
I agree with Grant and Cassandra. the "war on drugs" is a costly, futile expenditure. I think the Netherlands are far ahead of us in this aspect: they have a system of drug control wherein drugs are grouped into levels, and controlled according to those levels (for example, I think pot is level 1, making it virtually legal, and meth is like level 5... See More, very illegal). Besides decreasing gang activity, legalizing marijuana would allow it to be taxable, thus making the government money - everybody wins!!

Amerval Degodart Duplanty
Ridiculous rules and laws - you can't govern every aspect of peoples lives - these laws are specifically a revenue source and mechanism of imposing fear and power/control over individual rights and freedoms. All our current laws are from Admiralty law. Starting with our birth (certificate) we are enslaved as a corporate entity to the corporate entity of our government and its collaborating corporations. Interestingly enough within this law is the mechanism of our freedom which some people have started to discover. I suggest you search Mary Croft on You Tube and see what she has to say about it ( at least one 6 part series) plus her book is also available in computer voice translation - a little difficult to listen to but well worth the struggle

Greg Lightbourn
The marijuana growing and distribution industry (yes industry) is big business. Check out the doc Cannibiz on CBC Doc Zone. The "gangs", organized criminal element, growers, exporters and government- yes government- all profit from the illegality of pot. Some say that this industry injects more money into the BC economy than than any other natural resource here. The truth of that statement is difficult to verify but what it means is that the only ones who don't benefit from it's illegal status are the users, the small time distributors and the police. Many members of the police forces would rather not bust pot smokers and small time dealers because they don't see them as a harmful or dangerous element of society. We all know that more harm comes from the abuse of alcohol than pot. If pot was legalized, the bureaucratic cost would far exceed any financial gain the government could hope to procure. As it is, the government, while it doesn't get to tax the income of the growing and distribution element, it benefits greatly from the consumer taxes paid by this very high spending faction in our economy. Those who profit from illegal
means must convert money into hard goods all of which are taxed. These facts and truths also have been part of our neighbor's economy to the south for a long time and will not change soon. While legalization makes perfect sense from a humanistic and compassionate point of view, it unfortunately doesn't make sense from an economic point of view and in this capitalistically structured society the bottom line still seems to determine what is and what will be.

Jennifer Rogers
My opinion is that whatever you want to do as an adult on your leisure time is ok, but for a teenager marijuana use is NOT ok. David Suzuki did a very informative documentary on this subject. Marijuana is not like it use to be in the 60's - 80's. The THC in one joint now is so much more than before and does have multiple negative effects on a young person's brain. I do not agree with adults smoking pot in public around our young impressionable kids / teens. There are however good effects of marijuana for some adults, which I am totally ok with.

'Linda' Diane Taylor far as the whole pot issue.. This is what i feel.. Medicinal Marijuana has its place and saw how it assisted my own father during his long term illness and that was way back in 1980.

Long term use has it's drawbacks and that too I have witnessed.. forgetfullness to outright paranoia.

From an energetic point of view, it can muck up your etheric and give one a false beliefs that all is so wonderful. There are a couple of areas in California that I lived for several months. In one of the areas everyone is smoking and everyone is very happy and responsible. In the other everyone is smoking and there is a lot of insanity and lack of responsibility. So for me the jury is still out.

Personally I avoid it like the plague. And no I don't want a day ..

Heather Pearce Lyons
i quit smokin 39 years ago, but i still realize it should be legal....ah duh...who doesn't

Allen Snowdon
Sure, and once your kids get used to losing reality with pot they can move on to cocaine, meth, heroine. Mind you the population could use a bit of thinning...

Marc Desaulniers
People like to sell drugs to kids because they know for sure they are not cops, a regulated establishment is needed in my opinion.

llen Snowdon
And by the way, for all intents and purposes it is sort of legal, unless someone out there can quote me some latest statistics on Possession (other than for the purpose of trafficking). I doubt there have been many charges recently, let alone convictions. So what is your point, anyway. Running for politics, perchance?

Tasha Djuretic
yes it should be legal. i think they should be more concerned about the iv drug users instead if giving them safe injections sites paid with our taxes and they arrest someone for wee. total b.s.

Monique Turgeon
My vote is "No". Enough spaced out people in the world already.
about an hour ago ·

Lots of awesome comments as you can see!

Thanks Everyone for their feedback. I think it is through open discussion that we grow as a community. I am thrilled that my little piece of the world can help with dialogue and better understanding of this important issue.


Check out Duane's Blogspot at

It's Always a Good Day on the Sunshine Coast! Peace and Best Wishes! Duane

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