PET scanning of frequent-use marijuana smokers show lower blood flow in large regions of the brain, affecting motor coordination function, cognition, timing, sensory information-processing and attention.

"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

- Francis L. Young, Administrative Law Judge, US Drug Enforcement Administration

2. The Trial Decision

[10] The trial judge heard two weeks of evidence, including evidence from some of the leading experts on marihuana. He was also referred to government and scientific studies and the reports of various law reform bodies. On the basis of this evidence, the trial judge concluded that previous concerns about marihuana use are exaggerated, but that there are certain health and public dangers associated with its use. In my view, these findings are founded in the evidence. They are set out in full below from pp. 360-62:

From an analysis of their evidence I am able to reach the following conclusions:

  1. Consumption of marijuana is relatively harmless compared to the so-called hard drugs and including tobacco and alcohol;
  2. There exists no hard evidence demonstrating any irreversible organic or mental damage from the consumption of marijuana;

  3. That cannabis does cause alteration of mental functions and as such, it would not be prudent to drive a car while intoxicated;

  4. There is no hard evidence that cannabis consumption induces psychoses;

  5. Cannabis is not an addictive substance;

  6. Marijuana is not criminogenic in that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between cannabis use and criminality;

  7. That the consumption of marijuana probably does not lead to "hard drug" use for the vast majority of marijuana consumers, although there appears to be a statistical relationship between the use of marijuana and a variety of other psychoactive drugs;

  8. Marijuana does not make people more aggressive or violent;

  9. There have been no recorded deaths from the consumption of marijuana;

  10. There is no evidence that marijuana causes amotivational syndrome;

  11. Less than 1% of marijuana consumers are daily users;

  12. Consumption in so-called "de-criminalized states" does not increase out of proportion to states where there is no de-criminalization.

  13. Health related costs of cannabis use are negligible when compared to the costs attributable to tobacco and alcohol consumption.

M. Rosenberg J.A., ONTARIO COURT OF APPEAL, Jul 31, 2000

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