Graduate Student, Communications Coordinator, International Centre for Science in Drug Policy
Michaela Montaner, BA, is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia. She is also the communications coordinator for the Vancouver-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy and a Research Assistant at the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a provincial program based at St. Paul’s Hospital (managed by Providence Health Care) and affiliated with the University of British Columbia.
Instead of implying that cannabis and heroin dependence are equivalent, we should conceive of the use of drugs as being on a spectrum ranging from non-problematic to problematic use. The fact that the majority of cannabis use isn't harmful has significant implications for our cannabis policies. But realizing that a majority of people do not come to harm by their own non-problematic cannabis use does not downplay the seriousness of problematic cannabis use. However, for all the harm that can come from cannabis use, even more can come from its criminalization.
Many of us do not include handsome 'Glee' actors in our conception of the addicted individual. Indeed, for some, Mr. Monteith's sunny disposition, talent, and fairytale rise to fame stands in harsh contrast to the seemingly haggard faces and unenviable lives of those that populate street-level drug scenes like that in Vancouver's poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside.
07/16/2013 09:36 EDT
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