Submitted by qnp on Fri, 07/13/2007 - 01:16.
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!
Submitted by qnp on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 13:32.
According to TRIP surveys, Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs at parties. In Canadian society Marijuana very accepted, often smoked outside on the streets with bravo. In 2003 Toronto police chief Julian Fantino made a public statement that police would not arrest users with less than 30 grams on them. Jean Chretien was pushing bills through that would decriminalize cannabis, but then he left office and things fell apart. That bill has yet to be passed, yet Canadian youth are under the impression that marijuana is still legal. With Stephen Harper in power, the police are not as forgiving and there has been a recent spike in pot arrests.
Marijuana remains illegal and Canada, yet youth are smoking it more boldly than ever. "You'd have a youth smoking a joint out on the street without any fear
of being caught," said Toronto police Detective Doug McCutcheon. In 2006 Canada's main cities reported a rise between 20-50% in marijuana arrests. This spike in criminalization is starkly related to the rise of conservative politics in Canadian society. With Harper in power we're not going to see marijuana legalized any time soon. On top of that we have folks like the Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente spreading rumors that marijuana is the new crack. According to Wente, "The vast majority of the marijuana inhaled today is not the mellow weed you and I remember from our youth. It is many times more powerful. In
fact, the United Nations now classifies Canadian-grown marijuana as a
hard drug whose destructive power puts it in the same league as cocaine." Herbert Schaepe, secretary to the UN International Narcotics Control Board is a stanch opponent of harm reduction and has scolded Canada many times for not cracking down on seed distribution and pot users. Blogger Cliff Almas from Calgary Alberta breaks down the myths for us:
Contrary to popular myth, greater potency is not necessarily more dangerous, due to the fact that users tend to adjust (or "self-titrate") their dose according to potency. Thus, good quality sinsemilla is actually healthier for the lungs because it reduces the amount of smoke one needs to inhale to get high.
The stronger concentration of THC, the less we have to smoke to get high. This means lower cancer risk and healthier lungs. Ms. Wente tells us that stronger pot is hurting Toronto's marginalized youth. I would say that increasing incarceration rates of pot users is hurting marginalized youth even more, increasing the amount of youth of colour who populate our courts system.
Submitted by qnp on Tue, 06/26/2007 - 21:01.
Well, we all knew it has been happening all along in our own communities, but a recent study by Nielsen BuzzMetrics has discovered that teens are using social networking sites to swap tips online about drug use. The new study reports that around 1.6 per cent of youth are using the internet to find information on drugs. Of this percentile, 11% are trading tips on how to use drugs safetly.
Personally I'm suprised by this study. I would think that more youth would be online researching drugs. Although many youth are sheltered to a certain extent, I would say that the majority of teens must know atleast one peer who is using drugs, and alchohol. In a 2003 study done by CAHM discovered that of their sample, one-in-ten teens are engaged in drinking and drug consumption. There is a huge gap in these numbers, and although the studies are 4 years apart, it pays testiment to the increase of online outreach that has to happen to fill this gap. If the concern is about youth swapping incorrect information, then it is up to the health service providers to addopt these grassroots means of distributing information to get our message out.
That's why TRIP is here. Much like the youth who are online swapping tips, we swapped tips amongst our communities until it formed into a solid entity. Grassroots community info swapping has not only happened in the clubs, but also on community message boards like Hullabaloo, PureRave, and Tribe. Even some of the early BBSs were focused on drug use. Youth have been using the internet since its advent to share information on drugs, and it is this open principle of information sharing that infuses the spirit of TRIP. Let this tradition continue. Remember, we always welcome your participation. Don't be afraid to join up, post comments, or start up some threads on our messageboards. Only together can we keep our communities safe!
Submitted by admin on Fri, 06/22/2007 - 10:38.
Spending time in the wild and communing with the splendour and magnificence of our planet in its natural state can deliver massive rewards. By simply leaving our realms of metropolitan madness we relieve our minds, bodies and senses of the urban assault. Combine that relief with great people, art and booty-shaking music and you’ve got yourself the makings of a mind-blowing time. But the forest has its hazards too and camping must be done in an intelligent way with knowledge and insight. Luckily there are rules and tactics for keeping us safe...
Submitted by qnp on Wed, 06/20/2007 - 19:18.
Kieran King, a 15-year old student from small town Saskatchewan had the police visit his school to do some drug education. Like most of us in High School, he didn't buy it, and decided to do a little bit of research. He probably went to all the good websites; Erowid
, Lycaeum Drug Archive
, Cannabis Culture
, etc. What he found, and what he shared with his fellow students after his thorough research, was that cannabis is actually less harmful than other drugs like alcohol and tobacco. When Parkland High School administration got word of Kieran's research they were not happy. Spreading Harm Reduction information at school was equated with promoting drug use, a stereotype that TRIP often has to battle. Kieran was told to sit down and shut up, but in responce he went to his local marijuana party and staged a full out protest! The school administration locked students inside, forbidding them to walk out, but Kieran and his brother made it, along with their local supporters. After the protest Kieran was suspended from school, missing his final exams and bringing his average down from an A+ to a C. This kid is obviously a winner. We can't let this happen in Canada, it is a straight up voilation of free speach. They don't suspend kids for calling eachother fags, but they'll suspend Kieran for saying that pot is better for you that drinking? Not only is it repressive and morally wrong, but it's also preventing students from knowing valuable harm reduction information which could improve their level of health. Parkland High School should be ashamed of themselves!
Submitted by Kevin on Mon, 06/18/2007 - 18:29.
Check out this amazing new video from the Drug Policy Alliance. From their website:
Incarcerex relieves election-related anxieties. It creates the illusion that politicians are improving voters' lives by locking up people who violate drug laws.
Submitted by qnp on Thu, 06/14/2007 - 21:55.
I found this great video on PotTV.net. I thought you would find it interesting!
Submitted by ThePriestDude on Thu, 06/14/2007 - 02:56.
A safe injection site in Vancouver, the first of its kind in North America may be on the chopping block once the Conservatives release their new drug strategy. The strategy is expected to be a regression back to the tactics of the American "War on Drugs": treating users as criminals, increasing penalties and enforcement. This strategy has proven to be a failure on every level. You cannot control drug use through getting tough on users. Insite provides a place for users to use in a safer environment, helping to prevent the spread of disease by providing clean works for users...
"A study, published today in the London-based medical journal Addiction, found that use of the city's supervised injection facility known as Insite increased the rate of addicts entering detox by 30 per cent."
We can only hope the Conservatives see the obvious truth: Those with drug addictions are helped more with compassion than with prison.
Submitted by Rob on Fri, 06/08/2007 - 17:14.
-Reprinted from Time Magazine-
By John Cloud
Are psychedelics good for you? It's such a hippie relic of a question
that it's almost embarrassing to ask. But a quiet psychedelic
renaissance is beginning at the highest levels of American science,
including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Harvard,
which is conducting what is thought to be its first research into
therapeutic uses of psychedelics (in this case, Ecstasy) since the
university fired Timothy Leary in 1963. But should we be prying open
the doors of perception again? Wasn't the whole thing a disaster the
The answer to both questions is yes. The study of psychedelics in the
'50s and '60s eventually devolved into the drug free-for-all of the
'70s. But the new research is careful and promising. Last year two top
journals, the Archives of General Psychiatry and the Journal of
Clinical Psychiatry, published papers showing clear benefits from the
use of psychedelics to treat mental illness. Both were small studies,
just 27 subjects total. But the Archives paper--whose lead author, Dr.
Carlos Zarate Jr., is chief of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research
Unit at NIMH--found "robust and rapid antidepressant effects" that
remained for a week after depressed subjects were given ketamine
(colloquial name: Special K or usually just k). In the other study, a
team led by Dr. Francisco Moreno of the University of Arizona gave
psilocybin (the merrymaking chemical in psychedelic mushrooms) to
obsessive-compulsive-disorder patients, most of whom later showed
"acute reductions in core OCD symptoms." Now researchers at Harvard are
studying how Ecstasy might help alleviate anxiety disorders, and the
Beckley Foundation, a British trust, has received approval to begin
what will be the first human studies with LSD since the 1970s.
Submitted by Rob on Tue, 06/05/2007 - 17:23.
Stephen Harper's Conservative Party is due to present their new anti-drug strategy to parliament within a few days. While the details of the program are as of yet unknown it is assumed it will take a "tough on crime" approach reminiscent of the U.S. War on Drugs. We know that the Conservatives wish to crack down even harder on cannabis grow-ops and drug traffickers by using mandatory minimum sentences. They also want to increase the flow of money to police while de-emphasizing harm reduction strategies. This part of the plan has been in place since March when the Conservatives allocated an additional $70 million to enforcement, prevention and treatment while negating to even mention various successful and long running harm reduction programs like needle exchanges and sterile crack pipe distributors. Calgary's 10-year-old needle disposal program (which the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has recently recommended all U.S. cities adopt) is but one of the initiatives threatened by the Conservative assault.
We've already seen where this path goes and it's an ugly journey. The War on Drugs in the United States has been an abject failure and there is no reason to believe its delusional goals and vicious methods will succeed in Canada. There has never been and there will never be a drug free society - to speak of such is lunacy - but the Conservative government has once again eschewed science, reason, history and experience for right-wing ideology. Because of the Conservative's minority government status however, they will need the support of the other parties to pass this strategy through legislature, support they are unlikely to get.
Read this article by StopTheDrugWar.org for more info