250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 4:42 am

Prof Enters Pot Debate

Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 2:16 PM

Prince George, B.C. – A UNBC professor has commented on the buzz surrounding 4/20 day.

Dr. Russ Callaghan, an associate professor with the Northern Medical Program at UNBC, has been researching some of the long-term health consequences associated with marijuana use for the past five to 10 years, and says public dialogue is needed before marijuana reform is brought forward.

“When we talk about legalization, it’s important for the public to weigh the costs and the benefits,” says Callaghan. “We already have legalized two drugs which carry tremendous burdens for our society, tobacco and alcohol, so this discussion about legalization needs to be seen in that background.”

He concedes the benefits of legalization are well known, including the ability to tax the drug and to cut back on police enforcement, but Callaghan says there are drawbacks as well, especially among young people.

“The evidence seems to indicate that chronic use of marijuana in adolescents is associated with a number of poor health outcomes, the development of psychotic disorders, especially schizophrenia,” he says. “It can also be related to poor educational outcomes. The biggest issue as well among young people in cannabis use is that there’s a two-fold increase in motor vehicle collisions which can be quite serious.”

But despite the drawbacks, he says we as a society shouldn’t shy away from change.

“We have two great experiments down in the U.S. right now (Washington State and Colorado) and we have good evidence so I would probably lean more towards legalization,” says Callaghan. “But I think also we have to be aware that it would probably carry increased usage and some of those harms would follow as well.”



“A UNBC professor has commented on the buzz surrounding 4/20 day.”

marijuana is widely used by the youth as it is. I see legalization as a major pro. Brings a massive underground industry into the spotlight, and allows us to gain tax on the income. Both alcohol and tobacco are loaded with “sin taxes”, and this could be another. I’m sure both alcohol and tobacco could be argued as more harmful than marijuana.

Uh, it’s illegal for youth to consume alcohol – which is legal – so the legal/nonlegal status will have little impact on their usage pattern. In fact, I’d argue that it will have a positive outcome.

Now, instead of buying pot from scumbag drug dealers who may have laced it with something else, and are always trying to upsell them, it will be a quality controlled substance.

They will have to get someone of age to buy it for them, and said person, can now be fined with violating the “pot control act” – a non criminal offense freeing up the courts (or worse yet – causing judges, lawyers etc to face layoffs.)

Go ahead and legalize it. The users are gonna do it anyway, we might as well get some tax dollars out of the deal. (Pun intended)
I have dealt with many chronic users and wow, they call it “dope” for a reason. These people make it easy to succeed in life – if you can carry on a basic conversation you are doing better than the middle aged people I know that have been smoking up for 30+ years. We need the tax dollars to support these lifeless lumps as they hit retirement age (although gawd only knows what they are actually retiring from lol)

All the dealers will be voting harper . Without him they’d be out of business .

Interceptor.. what are your thoughts on people who are alcoholic? Or the ones who smoke tobacco products ?

You call chronic potheads lumps.. what is your name for abusive alcoholics ? Or all the smokers dying from cancer ? What is the bigger draw on our medical system ? alcholics..smokers..or lumps ?

I know people who have drank themselves stupid..divorced..lots have criminal records for spousal abuse…kids dont talk to them anymore..etc

I also know people who have got cancer from smoking and died slowly in front of their family..

I know lots who smoke pot…still married… kids still around.. never call in hungover.. good jobs.. etc.. no cancer.. no abuse…

Now with pot becoming legal in more places the true results of pot studies are coming out… slows down cancer tumour growth, excellent pain reliever, helps kids with adhd calm down,etc… no side affects.. no chance of heart attack, stroke, anal leakage, thoughts of suicide etc… like legal drugs have…

I don’t really have a dog in this fight so to speak. I don’t smoke pot (never have actually) and I never plan to. Aside from the fact that I can’t stand the smell, years of dealing with second hand smoke as a child has sort of turned me off of any substance you have to smoke.

Now all of that said, why is it that the “anti” crowd always seems to bring up the extreme examples and pass them off as though they are the norm? You know, the pot heads with no jobs, no drive, the ones who “started out with pot before becoming meth heads”, etc? To me, this would be like suggesting that the violent alcoholic is what would eventually result from someone who starts drinking beer when they are 16. It simply isn’t true.

It doesn’t matter if it’s pot, alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, shopping, gambling or something else. There are people with addictive personalties who can’t handle anything and they end up in a bad state. As a society, we have to manage that regardless of whether pot is legal or not.

I say legalize it, tax it and regulate it, just like we would for any other product of that type. I think the pros far outweigh the cons at this point.

“The evidence seems to indicate that chronic use of marijuana in adolescents is associated with a number of poor health outcomes” – But lets pretend other legal substances like Booze and Tobacco, don’t have 10x the impact on society… lol

pot’s a drug of course it can be abused . agree with whats been said here for the pro’s of legalizing pot . pretty silly why it’s not controlled and taxed like booze has been for what a hundred years ?

“They will have to get someone of age to buy it for them, and said person, can now be fined with violating the “pot control act” ”

Who says that’s how it will be ski51?

I know many people that smoke pot and have for years. They can out think most other people hands down.

NMG hit the nail on the head!

I don’t buy the schizophrenia link. I know of people that got that without ever smoking pot. I also know of a few people that did smoke pot that got it. The ones that got it and smoked some pot would have had it anyways, and pot is just the excuse they use for their problems… we all know the type, they always say they haven’t smoked in 6-weeks now and are so proud, and then next time you see them they are off the band wagon again, someone that can’t handle addictions of any sort and make it a major drama part of their lives.

Sure more schizophrenics will try smoking pot, because they are predisposed to try anything to get normal, and then need a crutch to blame other than themselves.

The evidence is in that crime was down across the board in states that legalized pot, and to date no major issues have surfaced from legalization. The only benefactors of making pot illegal is for the criminal element as a source of cash flow and we get major crimes as a result.

I am much more worried about the pharmaceutical drugs being pushed on our population. Every single mass shooting, pilot crashing his own plane, insane crimes of all sorts… they all involve some wacko wacked out on pharmaceutical drugs that have sever mind reactions… and yet we don’t hear a peep from the ‘professional’ community blaming the pharmaceutical industry for all the psycho’s they produce.

Nanaimo BC embraced the medicinal grow industry only a couple of years go and already it is the number one employer in the Nanaimo region with thousands of employees. A sustainable industry building a solid tax base for that community.

I’m with NMG. I don’t have a problem with people who use pot but the smell and the smoking really turn me off. It’s quite gross in fact…..

Comments for this article are closed.