NORML web site: http://NORML.org/
- Marijuana is a relatively harmless drug that has little impact on public safety, according to the findings of a preliminary government report from the Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. Among the Senate's findings:
- Marijuana is not a gateway to the use of hard drugs. "There is no convincing evidence to establish the gateway hypothesis. Data from population surveys show that out of 100 cannabis users in adolescence, about 10 will become regular users and 5 will move to using other drugs."
- Marijuana users are unlikely to become addicted. "Research conducted internationally shows that between 8 to 10 percent of cannabis users may develop some psychological dependency, a much smaller portion than for many other drugs, illegal and legal, and comparable to some prescribed medications ... For most dependent users, stopping use for a few days is usually sufficient to eliminate any symptoms of addiction."
- Marijuana prohibition has little impact on marijuana use. "Whether countries are prohibitionist such as Canada, Sweden or the USA or more liberal as in Australia, The Netherlands or Spain, levels and patterns of use vary according to other factors and are little influenced by the policy." For example, Americans by percentage use marijuana at rates nearly twice as high as their Dutch counterparts, the study found.
[I once dined with the Dutch consul and his wife. They told me half the members of the national legislature smoke pot. I've often fancied a retirement in which I would move to Amsterdam, buy a houseboat, and spend most of my afternoons lounging on my deck half stoned on either pot or ecstasy or both.]
- Marijuana use does not lead to the commission of crime. "Cannabis use does not increase aggressive or anti-social behavior ... [or] ... induce users to commit other forms of crime."
- Marijuana is a not a serious health risk. "Cannabis may have some negative effects on the health of individuals, but considering the patterns of use, these effects are relatively benign."