Letter: What’s all the fuss about marijuana

I have not heard of anyone dying from ingesting marijuana or dying from a marijuana overdose

Letter.

To the editor:

While watching news and the police raids on numerous marijuana shops across Canada the other day, a thought or two popped into my head. The first one being, how many people have died from ingesting (smoked, ate, drank etc.) marijuana? Personally I have not heard of anyone dying from ingesting marijuana or dying from a marijuana overdose. I have heard more positive stories expressing the benefits of marijuana versus any perceived negative aspects.

So why the fuss over a plant? (Marijuana is not a drug)

I recently read an article published in the July 2000 Journal of the American Medicine Association , entitled The Starfield Study. In that study, Dr Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health reached the following astonishing conclusions:

“Every year in the United States there are 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries, 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals, 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals, 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals, and 106,000 deaths from FDA approved and correctly prescribed medicines. The total of medically caused deaths in the U.S. every year is 225,000. That’s 2.25 million deaths per decade.”

I believe Health Canada does not keep such statistics but it is reasonable to assume that, based on similar lifestyles, and the fact that our population is one-tenth that of the United States, there are most likely, at a minimum, 15 to twenty thousand similar deaths in Canada every year.

So with all the fuss over marijuana, including police raids, seizures and arrests, and how dangerous this plant is supposed to be, why isn’t our government, or any agency of the federal government, or the police, shutting down hospitals and pharmacies and seizing dangerous drugs and arresting those involved in the killing of people in their care?

Grant Baudais, Kelowna

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