Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Canada tokes at 4 times world average: UN

Hahaha...okay, this time the answer is clearly "amused."

Canadians use marijuana at four times the world average, making Canada the leader of the industrialized world in cannabis consumption, a recent United Nations report found.

The 2007 World Drug Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says that 16.8 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 64 smoked marijuana or used another cannabis product in 2006. The world average is 3.8 per cent.

I wonder, can't you sort of assume people under-report drug usage?

But to be perfectly honest, I have trouble getting worked up over people smoking pot. Not that I recommend it, per se, but I think it's a pretty clear-cut instance of malum prohibitum, rather than malum in se. On the other hand, I found this disturbing:

The report found that Canada also had a high rate of usage for cocaine, at 2.3 per cent of population, ranking it third behind Spain and England.

Cocaine bothers me. Why? Because it melts your face, people!

According to WebMD, Marijuana causes the following problems:

  • Regular use of marijuana can cause problems with memory and affect problem-solving and learning. It can cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
  • It can damage the lungs, which may lead to breathing problems (such as wheezing and bronchitis).
  • It contains many cancer-causing chemicals.
  • When under the influence of marijuana, a person may have reduced inhibitions and impaired judgement. They may take risks or have an auto accident.
  • It can cause lower sperm counts and increased breast size in males (gynecomastia). In females, it can cause menstrual problems.

So, okay, none of those are good things, alsothough some of them are sort of negligible. Everything causes cancer-causing chemicles, and the whole "reduced-inhibitions-impaired-judgment" thing is of variable danger. Compare that to these:

  • ...the delusion or false sense of grandeur, known as cocainomania.
  • Dilated pupils, nausea, vomiting, headache, or vertigo (the sensation of your surroundings or yourself moving or spinning).
  • With or even without increased amounts of coke, these can progress to excitement, flightiness, emotional instability, restlessness, irritability, apprehension, inability to sit still, teeth grinding, cold sweats, tremors, twitching of small muscles (especially of face, fingers, feet), muscle jerks, hallucinations (cocaine bugs, snow lights, voices and sounds, smells), and cocaine psychosis. Cocaine psychosis resembles paranoid schizophrenia
    and can bring on paranoia, mania, and psychosis.
  • Many users complain of nasal irritation, nasal crusting, recurrent nosebleeds, nasal stuffiness, facial pain caused by sinusitis, and hoarseness.
  • The mucous membrane of both sides of the septum (the cartilage that separates the nostrils) can be damaged by decreased blood supply, along with drying, crusting, and nose picking. This results in a perforation or hole in the septum with more crusting, foul secretions, nosebleeds, and whistling with nasal breathing, the so-called coke nose.
  • Utilizing the technique of deep inhalation and breath holding to maximize the amount of cocaine inhaled and absorbed can cause the lung to collapse. These cocaine users will complain of sharp chest pain, often worse with deep breathing, neck pain, difficult or painful swallowing, and air under the skin in the neck that feels like Rice Krispies under the skin when touched (subcutaneous emphysema). Though unusual, the user’s lungs can fill with fluid (pulmonary edema) causing extreme shortness of breath, sometimes respiratory failure, and death.

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