DANGEROUS: Marijuana is defined under the law as a 'dangerous drug'.
DANGEROUS: Marijuana is defined under the law as a 'dangerous drug'. Bill North

OPINION - Marijuana: dangerous drug or harmless?

OFTEN when we file a story about marijuana seizures or arrests, we receive responses questioning our use of the term "dangerous drug”.

There are a few points to make here.

Under the Criminal Code, marijuana is classified as a dangerous drug.

As journalists, we must report the law as it exists.

Likewise, when reporting about tobacco or alcohol, we do not refer to them as dangerous drugs because the law does not consider them to be so, even though they are statistically the most deadly.

Marijuana is not dangerous in the sense that you cannot overdose and die from it.

That is not to say that it doesn't indirectly cause deaths, however.

My experience of marijuana smokers is that many also get behind the wheel of a car.

It is medically accepted that marijuana use slows down your reflexes, potentially leading to a fatal accident.

It is also medically accepted that there is a causative link between marijuana consumption and psychosis, if one already has a genetic predisposition.

The link between substance abuse and depression is also well-established.

Being a black-market commodity, there is always the potential of the deal going bad, which can have deadly consequences.

Any drug can be dangerous if misused.


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