#265 Please Support Canadian Cannabis Law Reform With LTEs Now!

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003
Subject: #265 Please Support Canadian Cannabis Law Reform With LTEs Now!

Please Support Canadian Cannabis Law Reform with LTEs


DrugSense FOCUS Alert # 265 April 19, 2003

Last Sunday, most the Sun newspapers ran an intensive article “O
Cannabis” on Canadian cannabis use and the failure of our current drug

Calgary Sun http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03.n597.a07.html Toronto
Sun http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03.n598.a07.html Edmonton Sun
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03.n598.a05.htm and the Ottawa Sun

And the London Free Press ran a short version under the title “High
Times” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03/n598/a02.html

In the article, the author chose to quote many sources. Some, such as
the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, are highly reliable;
others such as Police Chief Julian Fantino and Dr. Raju Hajela, a past
president of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, are less so.
Dr. Hajela expresses misinformed concerns about the potential harms of
cannabis, including that it leads to schizophrenia. Chief Fantino
suggests that we need to maintain prohibition in order to control the
black market, completely ignoring that it is our cannabis laws that
cause the profitability black market in the first place.

If we are ever to have an enlightened discussion about drug policy in
Canada, the first thing that we need to do is correct this kind of
misinformation. I urge you to contact the Sun papers and correct
those who would ignore science and reason. Truth is on our side, now
let’s pass it on!

Thanks for your effort and support.


It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do


Phone, fax etc.)

Please post a copy your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list (sentlte@mapinc.org) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to MGreer@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list with so
others can learn from your efforts and be motivated to follow suit.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list (sentlte@mapinc.org) will help you to
review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see http://www.mapinc.org/lists/index.htm
and/or http://www.mapinc.org/lists/index.htm#form

This is VERY IMPORTANT as it is one very effective way of gauging our
impact and effectiveness.


To see the actual nearly identical, except for sidebars at the bottom,
“O Cannabis / High Times” articles please click the links above. The
Sun newspapers are running a whole series of cannabis related articles
this week, many of which are good targets for Letters to the Editor.
Here is a list of the Sun Newspapers (Sun Media Corporation, Canoe
Limited Partnership), their Letter to the Editor email address, and a
link which will bring up the recent drug policy related items printed
in each of the newspapers:

Calgary Sun callet@sunpub.com http://www.mapinc.org/source/Calgary+Sun

Toronto Sun editor@sunpub.com http://www.mapinc.org/source/Toronto+Sun

Edmonton Sun letters@edm.sunpub.com http://www.mapinc.org/source/Edmonton+Sun

Ottawa Sun oped@ott.sunpub.com http://www.mapinc.org/source/Ottawa+Sun

London Free Press letters@lfpress.com http://www.mapinc.org/source/London+Free+Press

Only the Winnipeg Sun appears not to have printed the “O Cannabis”
article but is printing others in the series: editor@wpgsun.com


Now, and the weeks ahead, Letters to the Editor of Canadian newspapers
from both Canadians and cannabis activists around the world are most

The Canadian Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a charter challenge
case involving three appellants that challenges the criminalization of
marijuana possession on May 6th.

The federal government is poised to take its swing with new
legislation expected in June which would decriminalize marijuana
possession. Early indications are that Justice Minister Martin Cauchon
would decriminalize the possession of 30 grams of cannabis, or less –
less than an ounce – making it subject to fines. Letter writers are
needed to tell the media that such a tiny step is not enough! Only a
legal, regulated market for adults, as recommended by the Senate
Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, is appropriate.

Please bookmark these links, which will bring up target news items –
both today and in the weeks ahead – and write as many letters as
possible. By your efforts we can influence the debate in Canada, and
perhaps the end result. But it will take an extra effort on the part
of all cannabis activists to make it happen.

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mjcn.htm (Cannabis – Canada)

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmjcn.htm (Cannabis – Medicinal – Canada)



(Please note If you choose to use this letter as a model please modify
it at least somewhat so that the paper does not receive numerous
copies of the same letter and so that the original author receives
credit for his/her work.)

This letter is in response to the “O Canada” article written by Jason
Botchford that appeared in Sunday’s Sun newspapers.

Dear Editor,

I congratulate you on such an in depth article about the failure of
Canada’s cannabis prohibition, although I take exception with Dr. Raju
Hajela’s alarmist and inaccurate comments regarding the recreational
use of cannabis.

He suggests that there can be “devastating consequences” to people
trying cannabis even once; he must mean the munchies, because unlike
alcohol, tobacco, or even aspirin there has never been a single death
attributed to the use of marijuana in over 3000 years of recorded use.

Furthermore, many recent studies suggest that cannabis may actually
possess anti-carcinogenic properties (P. Massi et al, 1998; Stig O. P.
Jacobsson et al, 2000; I. Galve-Roperh et al, 2001).

Finally, Dr. Hajela discounts himself completely by stating rather
cryptically that the wrong message about cannabis is getting out to
the public because “there are a lot of marijuana smokers amongst the
media”. Yikes! And they say that marijuana makes users paranoid!

This kind of alarmist misinformation would be laughable if it didn’t
lead to such expensive, corrupt, and ineffective policies. From the
1972 LeDain Commission on, every major public or private study that
has ever looked at our drug policy has recommended relaxing our
cannabis laws. It’s high time for a little bit of truth about
marijuana use!

Philippe Lucas
Victoria, BC, Canada

IMPORTANT: Always include your address and telephone number so that
the newspapers may verify that you actually wrote the letter.


ADDITIONAL INFO To Help You in Your Letter Writing Efforts, Please

Writer’s Resources http://www.mapinc.org/resource/

References You May Find of Value:

The well documented cannabis related facts at http://www.drugwarfacts.org/
http://www.drugwardistortions.org/ and http://marijuanainfo.org/

While it is a huge report, using quotes from the Senate Special
Committee on Illegal Drugs report will have special value to
Canadians. To find material for quotes, use the links at

********************* Just DO It!! **********************************






Prepared by Philippe Lucas phil@drugsense.org DrugSense Focus Alert