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Synergy of Abuse

Tue, July 25, 2017   |   Author: Peter Vogel   |   Volume 24    Issue 30   

What do fentanyl, marijuana, and alcohol all have in common? They are all substances that are abused in Canada. They are also abused in other countries, but Canada has little to be proud of when it comes to prevention of substance abuse.

Let’s start with alcohol. It is legal and has a place in the culture of many responsible homes and communities. Not all use is abuse. We do have abuse in Canada, though; despite the warnings against drinking and driving, a study done just last year put Canada as number one among wealthy countries in drinking and driving deaths.

This is an ugly statistic, but the increased abuse of fentanyl and associated deaths is even more shocking: this year Vancouver is on pace to see 1,400 people die of fentanyl overdoses. This from a drug we had scarcely heard about a few years ago. It should be known as the “suicide drug.”

These are existing and ongoing problems in Canada. We have people dying directly and indirectly because of substance abuse.

Those who are familiar with marijuana will point out that use, even abuse, of marijuana does not cause death directly from overdosing. So why are we opposed to recreational marijuana?

The question that should be asked is: “How will legalizing marijuana help Canada’s substance abuse problems?”

The answer it that it won’t. And the Liberals won’t want to talk or think about this.

When the sum of things added to each other produce a total or an effect that is greater than that of the individual parts, this phenomenon is known as “synergy.” Let’s apply this idea to Canada’s substance abuse problem.

Does marijuana use help with the drinking and driving problem in Canada? No, we already have statistics showing that along with alcohol impairment, drug impairment is a growing problem in relation to driving deaths in Canada. MADD Canada reports that cannabis (marijuana) was the drug most frequently found in impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes. So if you think that the statistics are bad now, wait till you see the synergy of alcohol and recreational marijuana.

Now there is a plausible argument to be made that if someone were only given legal marijuana instead of fentanyl, they would probably still be alive. In isolation, that argument could be true, but that is not how things work. In reality, the message that will stick is that if marijuana is OK, and marijuana is a drug that was illegal in the past, then other drugs that are now illegal will probably also be legal in the future (and safe to use now).

Last year the warning was a youth suicide epidemic while the government was debating legalizing assisted suicide. A stark warning, one that was not heeded.

This year we have the shocking death totals by fentanyl overdose, and yet no caution seems to be forthcoming in the push to legalize marijuana—not even a regulation protocol similar to that of alcohol. Low THC marijuana (which does not cause impairment) has no “recreational value” and does not need to be regulated in the same way as hybrid marijuana which is grown for its THC content (it is the THC which gives the high and impairs). Why is a logical approach with this common-sense basis not being taken to regulate marijuana and educate potential users of its effects?

Our current government is irresponsible on this issue and many others. We need to show our fellow Canadians who voted Liberal last time why they made a mistake. We need to be able to give simple and concrete reasons, and the clumsy handling of the marijuana issue is one of them.

We encourage you to talk about this issue with your contacts; it highlights how urgently we need a government that will consider the future and the long-term implications of decisions before making dramatic changes. We need members of parliament who will wisely base their decisions on principles that do not change. We need to find, train, and elect CHP MPs who will shine the light of Biblical principles on the issues of the day.

Synergy is not just something that works in the negative; your efforts on behalf of the CHP and the efforts of other members, can produce results much greater than the sum of the individual parts—please do your part with confidence!

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