Tag Archives: Canada

Mathematics Proves Correlation to Marijuana as Gateway Drug

Two Studies Show Cannabis-Gateway Effect

The 25-year Christchurch Longitudinal Study demonstrated that in 86% of cases of those who had taken two or more illegal drugs, marijuana had been the drug the study subjects had taken first. The correlation is in the mathematics and can’t be denied.

The researchers concluded that the use of marijuana in late adolescence and early adulthood had emerged as the strongest risk factor for later involvement in other illicit drug use.

New research has been released that adds to these findings. Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK has found regular and occasional cannabis use as a teen is associated with a greater risk of other illicit drug taking in early adulthood.

The study by Bristol’s Population Health Science Institute, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in 2017, caught the attention of most major newspapers in the UK.  It was reviewed in the British Medical Journal and Science Daily in June of 2017.    But, once again, the news was under-reported in the North American media.

Cannabis Use Predicts Many Forms of Problematic Substance Use in Adulthood

Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), the researchers looked at levels of cannabis use during adolescence to determine whether these  might predict other problematic substance misuse in early childhood – by the age of 21.

In addition to the findings on pot and illicit drug use, the study found that early cannabis use was associated with harmful drinking and smoking.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Michelle Taylor from the School of Social and Community Medicine told the UK media: “I think the most important findings from this study are that one in five adolescents follow a pattern of occasional or regular cannabis use and that those individuals are more likely to be tobacco-dependent, have harmful levels of alcohol consumption or use other, illicit drugs in early adulthood.”

Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient:

Now for all those that are still question the Gateway Theory or are willing to dismiss the evidence from these studies here is the Statistical Mathematical Evidence of Correlation:

A survey that was conducted in Canada and 9 other countries was used to determine the percentage of teenagers who had used marijuana and other drugs.

Using Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient to test the correlation between the two variables as extracted from the population as pairs of sets of data, it was mathematically demonstrated that there is a positive correlation between the two variables.

The claim that there is a positive correlation between smoking marijuana and doing other drugs is made with at least a 95% level of confidence by mathematical calculation.

If after this evidence you still cling to the position that the Gateway Theory is old-school and can be cast aside, you are being asked for your evidence, your proof and your calculations.

by Pamela McColl, SAM Canada

“Legalization would result only in more cannabis users and thus a higher secondary demand for and entanglement within the remaining illegal drug market,” wrote David Sergeant of The Bow Group, London, England.

420 Event in Vancouver Disastrous

Pot Rally Organizers Should Pay

The annual marijuana protest at Sunset Beach this year left an adjacent field in ruins. It will be fenced off and closed to the public for up to a month while park board staff restore it. Park board officials said much of the damage could have been prevented if organizers had installed a turf protector as they had promised.

Patients Go to Hospital, 66 Emergencies

The event also led to 66 visits to St. Paul’s emergency department. Of these patients, 10 were under the age of 20. The youngest was 14.  Patients mostly had consumed edibles that brought on complaints of nausea, vomiting and dizziness.  An additional 25 people were seen at satellite first aid stations set up to ease the burden on St. Paul’s, while 62 people were seen at a first aid station that 4/20 organizers set up.
There were eight driving suspensions issued for the consumption of drugs, and two drivers were criminally charged with impaired driving.   The event, which drew an estimated 40,000, disrupted traffic, while the smoke, noise and crowds made life unpleasant for residents.
The cost of police, paramedics and park board staff assigned to the event, along with the cost of cleanup and field restoration will amount to thousands of dollars, with the financial burden falling largely on Vancouver taxpayers.
Yet Vancouver’s mayor and council ignore these negative effects, police refuse to enforce the law — selling and consuming cannabis without a medical prescription is still illegal — and pot proponents vow their protest will continue in defiance of city bylaws or any other restrictions, even after the recreational use of marijuana is likely to be legalized in July 2018. That’s because cannabis advocates say they didn’t get everything they wanted — they object, for example, to restrictions on selling drugs to minors.

End of Festival, Coming Soon, Hopefully

Fortunately, the end is nigh for this kind of anarchic drug fest. Cannabis has become big business. Among the larger players in the Canadian industry, Canopy Growth of Smiths Falls, Ont., trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization in excess of $1.5 billion. Vancouver’s Aurora Cannabis is not far behind with a market cap of $841 million. It’s only a matter of time before big tobacco companies and major retailers squeeze out the illegal pop-up dispensaries and turn cannabis into a properly regulated industry.
In the meantime, the city should impose a financial penalty on 4/20 organizers and recoup as much of the cost of the event as possible.

Pamela McColl, SAM Canada

Neighbors generally object to this event held in Sunset Park.

Sunset field ‘trashed’: Will be closed for weeks following 4/20 event

Teen Driver Safety Week Warning Against Driving on Pot

In advance of Canadian National Teen Driver Safety Week – October 19-25 — SAM Canada reminds all Canadians of the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana. SAM Canada is the Canadian chapter of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Frequently people state the belief that feel they are better drivers when they are high. These beliefs are perpetuated by the marijuana lobby in their quest for legitimacy, legalization and commercialization.  When long-time stoners tell us this, it’s the youth who listen.  Young people are only 13% of the drivers in Canada, but they account for about one quarter the traffic fatalities and injuries.

The statements need to be stopped. Stoned driving is a legitimate threat to personal and public safety. Let’s face it, driving high is as dumb as drunk driving.  Here’s some facts. Continue reading

The Unraveling, Part 3: Temporary Mental Instability vs Bipolar I

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.  Permission required for reprinting) After Ryan’s death, I remembered reading many years ago in a magazine  about Margaret Trudeau, then wife of the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. She was in her 20s, partied with socialites, and also suffered psychotic breaks.  Each time she referenced her use of marijuana as the trigger for those episodes.  I’ve since read current articles, and she continues to share. For her, marijuana led her into “madness.”  It was much later that she was diagnosed with  bipolar disorder.  It’s hard for me to accept her son, Justin Trudeau, wanting to have the same position his father held.  He’s a proponent of pot, despite knowing his mother’s mental health was so affected by marijuana. It speaks volumes on how great the opposition to promoting the truth about this drug!

Ryan was not helped to understand why his brain lost touch with reality under the influence of THC–this is the “elephant in the room.” The fact that hospitals don’t consider marijuana a factor in the picture of mental health is a tragedy. We need every researcher, past and present, across the globe, who understands the truth about what pot does to young brains to stand up in solidarity.

The experience of Great Britain was that it decriminalized marijuana, saw a spike in mental illness as a result of loosening the law, and then tightened their laws again. Canada has website on the cannabis-psychosis-schizophrenia link. The US, on the other hand, is not noticing its problem, or influenced by the marijuana financiers, is refusing to see that so many young people who are addicted to it are also  having psychiatric problems. I believe the psychiatry community has failed to connect the dots, ignoring the facts of today’s cannabis – so much stronger than when they were in school, or even 10 years ago.

The Lancet Journal of Psychiatry’s recent article points to a sevenfold risk of suicide for teens who use marijuana.

The second break happened 18 months after the first one, but this time I pre-arranged for Ryan to receive drug rehabilitation at a different hospital. The hospital in Pasadena gave the ‘green light’ for rehab. We paid $12,500 up front and Ryan’s PPO would insure the rest. His uncle and grandfather came, too, for support. Less than 24 hours after admittance, the staff coerced Ryan to their locked unit, where he was warehoused for 13 days with anti-psychotics exceeding the FDA limits.

The staff asked us several times: “Could Ryan have dropped acid? He doesn’t seem like our bipolar patients.” Once again his toxicology report came up positive (+) for THC. Again, in 2011, just like 2009, no one believed marijuana could cause this effect.
By now, we realized that our son’s drug problem was with weed and that he had relapsed with weed, but he never got a shot at the drug rehab for which we had already paid.

Ryan was “dumped” from their unit on the 13th day. The insurance refused to pay for it, perhaps after reading the notes of how much worse Ryan had become inside the hospital unit.  Why are insurance companies allowed to have so much influence on a patient’s treatment when they don’t have expertise?  He was drugged mercilessly into just a state of stupor. It was an endless nightmare for our son and for his family.

Ryan was taken off the last anti-psychotic at the first follow-up visit with the same psychiatrist because he appeared normal, compared to his state during hospitalization. However, he was still actively psychotic at that one week follow up. (I had stopped Haldol when he came home, as I was horrified my son had been receiving Haldol round-the-clock. Of course, at 6’4”, Ryan was intimidating. He had never become violent, but he tried to escape several times, realizing he had been tricked from the open unit into the locked unit.)

Coming Home Again

Ryan was hit with a personal betrayal at the same time–which just leveled him. Yet, with love and support of our family, he emerged once again from psychosis 10 weeks later. It came within the same time frame as the first episode, probably not a coincidence. This time it happened without medications, and I am suspicious that the medicines didn’t really affect his state of mind coming off psychosis after the first episode.

Ryan stayed with the Ivy League psychiatrist after coming out of psychosis for several visits. He drove all the way to his office in Pasadena, then had to wait up to 1 1/2 hours, as he piled in patients for the 15-minute check-in. I always hoped Ryan would invite me to go with him, but he didn’t. On the last visit, Ryan came home and announced “Mom, I’m not going back to see him because he never takes his head out of the computer, and doesn’t even look at me.”

After my son died, I subpoenaed his records only to find many days of nursing notes documenting: “Please call my mom she’ll know how to help me.” “I can’t stay in here like the last time, you don’t know what happened to me there.” But no one called me or told me despite my calling twice a day and visits every night.

During the 2nd hospitalization, I believe the massive anti-psychotics administered threw him into full-blown psychosis, as compared to the mild state of psychosis at the time he entered to get drug rehab. Drugging a young person into such a state of stupor, and then stopping medication upon discharge, surely that plays havoc on the young brain – already under siege from the effects of THC.

There are families whose kids died from drug overdoses, but began their drug usage with pot. There are those who have children hopelessly addicted to marijuana and there are those of us whose children die from the consequences of marijuana usage. All of us are stymied by a cover-up of the marijuana-mental illness link, and the fact that mental health treatment doesn’t adequately connect with substance abuse and addiction treatment.  Follow our posts by email to receive part 4 and part 5, to be published in December.