Pot endangers children

Vancouver's top doctor defends edible pot ban
By Laura Kane, The Canadian Press, June 25, 2015
VANCOUVER – Vancouver’s top doctor is defending the city’s decision to ban edible pot products such as brownies and cookies, pointing to data that shows child poisonings have skyrocketed by 600 per cent in U.S. states where marijuana is legal.

Lawmakers south of the border have grappled with how to regulate the products. In Washington, nearly half of marijuana poisoning calls last year involved children, while Colorado only recently introduced stricter requirements for packaging, potency and contents.

Dr. Patricia Daly, Vancouver Coastal Health chief medical officer, said the city looked closely at the experiences of U.S. states before banning edible marijuana from stores.

“The concern is the marketing and retail sale of products that look exactly like candies and baked goods, and the poisonings that we know might occur in children,” she said. “This is a really early warning signal in the United States. We don’t want to see that happen here.”

Vancouver city council voted on Wednesday to impose regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries, institute a licence fee and enforce strict location requirements. Edible pot products will now be banned from stores, sparking criticism from advocates who say the move violates a recent Supreme Court decision.

Daly pointed to a recent study in Clinical Pediatrics, which found that the rate of marijuana poisonings among children five years of age and younger has increased by 610 per cent between 2006 and 2013 in states that legalized medical marijuana before 2000.

She said childproof containers and labelling has not prevented such poisonings, which can cause kids to stop breathing, suffer seizures and even become comatose.

In Washington, labels on pot products can’t use cartoon characters or bright colours, and each standardized 10-milligram serving of THC must be marked on the package. Edibles are limited to products that have a long shelf life, such as brownies, cookies and candies.

Still, Dr. Alexander Garrard of the Washington Poison Centre said calls about marijuana poisonings caused by edibles have tripled in the last decade. There were 245 calls last year, of which 108 were children, he said.

“I think what Vancouver has done is very forward. Some people would say it’s maybe a little bit radical. But that’s what we’re seeing — the majority of our cases are on edibles.”

In Colorado, two suicides and a murder committed by people who consumed edible pot products have grabbed headlines in the past two years. New regulations introduced in February require more explicit warnings and THC contents on labels, and provide incentives for companies to produce lower-potency products.


In some teens, pot will ‘kill your dreams,’ counsellor says

(The following letter was published in The Province on 6/26/2015)... 

"Gordon Clark wrote an excellent column in Monday’s paper. The pro-marijuana-side argument is full of partial truths and, in some cases, untruths.

I work in five secondary schools and have seen first-hand the trouble regular marijuana use causes our youth. Pot may not kill you, but it will kill your dreams.

Last month, I attended a conference on drug and alcohol abuse in Boise, Idaho. Leaders from both the state and school system in Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2012, presented, and the impact from legal, recreational marijuana has been significant on kids, especially kids in school.

Thanks for publishing the column; I’m sure the pushback has been significant."
-- Doug Rogers, School District 22, Vernon
(see Gordon Clark's column below)

Science versus pot religion

Medical pot proponents are blowing smoke
By Gordon Clark, The Province, June 24, 2015 • Section: Opinion
With the exception of “moderate-quality” evidence that pot controls pain and spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis, the meta-analysis of 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there is little evidence that marijuana is effective for a host of ailments pot proponents often claim it can treat....

Those included “nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, weight gain in HIV infection, sleep disorders and Tourette syndrome.” You may as well take a sugar tablet.

The report also found that using marijuana caused a host of adverse events, including “dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, somnolence, euphoria, vomiting, disorientation, drowsiness, confusion, loss of balance and hallucination.”.....click "Read More" below to continue.....


Scientific proofs not required for "Medical Marijuana" claims

(The following letter was published in The Province, June 24, 2015)...
Vancouver failing to consider harms of using marijuana
There was such a public outcry over yoga on a bridge that the premier was “compelled” to cancel it and yet Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem’s plan to license illegal pot shops goes unchallenged by our provincial leaders.

The travesty taking place at Vancouver City Hall should have every parent, educator, business owner, non-pot user, physician, law-enforcement officer and addictions councillor up in arms, as well as the premier and the education minister.

Why the lack of response? There has been a consorted effort to lull the public with rhetoric of “regulate” and “patients’ interests” and a sorry lack of discussion over the impact of commercialization of a substance that has been proven not safe for human consumption. What is missing is the evidence of science.

The gross omission of the risks of harms associated with the use of marijuana for anyone at any age is the offence that should cost Ballem her job, along with her admission that proximity guidelines for daycares were not included in her licensing plan to ease the burden on the marijuana sector in adhering to the rules. The facts:

In September 2009, marijuana smoke was added to the list of compounds known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity by the California Environmental Protection Agency and Environmental Health Hazard Office.

There are over 300 studies about the cell damage done by marijuana. Second-hand marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxins and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke kills 600,000 worldwide annually.

Enough said. Write MayorandCouncil@Vancouver.ca today.

Pamela McColl, Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada, Vancouver


Pot businesses magnet to crimes

Ram raiders hit two Vancouver pot dispensaries in weekend looting spree
By Nick Eagland, The Province May 30, 2015
A wave of thefts has hit Vancouver pot businesses over the past two weeks, including two apparent ram-raiding attempts on medical marijuana dispensaries early Saturday.....click "Read More" below to continue.....