LETTER: Claims on marijuana have been debunked

I would like to take issue with the letter from Ken Lane, Marijuana use is extremely harmful, in your Nov. 22 issue.

Sadly, Mr. Lane’s claims are little more than hyperbole. Even the study he relies on, the 2017 National Academy of Sciences report, contradicts what Lane is claiming. In it, the authors of the report clearly state that studies found only “limited evidence that cannabis use leads to use of other drugs. There is no clear evidence to back up Lane’s claim of a “statistical association between cannabis use and the development of substance abuse disorder… ” for drugs other than cannabis. Lane is basically using the “gateway” claim, which has been totally debunked.

Mr. Lane also goes on about cannabis’ negative impact on memory, but fails to mention that study after study has demonstrated that any memory loss associated with cannabis use has been proven to be temporary, and the memory loss totally recoverable. He also basically quotes some lines from the report about the impact of THC on brain cells, synapses and the immune system, but fails to report the full results of the study, which do not find these impacts to be permanent. These impact can also be achieved by running a marathon, meditating for long periods of time, practicing yoga, and listening to music, among other activities, and are not necessarily harmful. In fact, they may even be helpful in some incidences, especially for people suffering from neurological disorder (something the study he references affirms).

The study also clearly states that, at present, there is not enough information to conclude whether the claimed negative impacts of cannabis are in fact real.

Then Lane goes on to quote Dr. Robert Gilkeson, a Princeton researcher and pediatric specialist who passed away in 1993, who had little or no modern information on the issue, and was by no means an authority on the subject matter. In fact, he’s most famous for using the term “marijuana” instead of THC or cannabis, and had no practical experience in the subject matter other than occasionally writing reefer madness type exposes for local newspapers.

I would suggest that if anyone has been “duped into believing” the hyperbole it is Mr. Lane.

Will Webster

Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich explores options for adding shelters to parks

Covered areas would encourage safe outdoor socializing during rainy season

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Custom House construction site in Victoria

Government Street remains closed as investigation continues

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

Filming takes place now until March 2021

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Most Read