Today on CBC Radio News Harvard Professor Lester Grinspoon took on drug policy conservative Barry McKnight. McKnight claims that higher concentrations of THC in pot are creating criminals and crippling Canadian youth. Grinspoon took on this falacy by presenting the point that stronger drugs mean that users will moderate their use. Grinspoon challenged the reclassification of marijuana as a Level 1 sustaince by stating that when US drug companies created the synthetic canaboid pill called Marinol they had it classified at Level 2, so that it could be perscribed by phsyicians. If a synthetic drug that is classified at Level 2 has 100% levels of THC it does not make sense to classify a substance that is of a lesser concentration at Level 1. Humbled, McKnight thanked Grinspoon for his research stating that “families need information” about these harmful substances. Grinspoon responded wittily that families need correct information, not hyped up propaganda. Youth need correct information about marijuana, a substance that is signifigantly less toxic than alcohol, so that they can consume it in a responsible manner.
Maybe we should be calling Professor Grinspoon to see if he’d be interested in making an anonymous donation? One thing is for sure, it is questionable whether the Conservative government’s $64-million anti-drug stratagy will find it’s way to funding harm reduction initiatives like TRIP. “They haven’t explicitly said they are getting rid of harm reduction, but the budget numbers speak for themselves,” said Leon Mar, spokesman for the Canadian HIV-AIDS Legal Network. “There is no money for harm reduction, which is quite ominous for what will be.” Canada is known around the world for its inovative harm reduction programs. The next thing you know, Harper is going to start spending money on silver rings and distributing them around high schools. Just don’t be suprised if teen pregnancy and drug overdoses go up!