Once again, health-care busy-bodies are sticking their noises in the legalization debate. 

But can you blame them? Under the Soviet-model, your health is my business since we’re all forced to pay for this.

I just don’t understand why “medical officers” aren’t more concerned with sugary cereals targeting children than the Liberal plan to “restrict and regulate” cannabis.

An Ontario health unit is taking the position that cannabis is not harmless and is recommending the federal Liberals regulate “non-medical cannabis” in a strict fashion.

Not only that but they want “baseline data and ways to monitor local use of marijuana.”

Perhaps this is why ATMs in dispensaries aren’t considered “best practice.” If governments are going to track cannabis users, then it’s going to be pretty hard if consumers are paying in cash.

But the real zinger comes when the health board CEO calls for “developing evidence-based prevention and harm reduction messaging,” and then goes ahead and calls cannabis harmful without evidence.

“Cannabis is not harmless,” Dr. Nicola Mercer said. “There are some significant potential risks for those who… become a daily or regular users of the product.”

Oh? What risks?

I don’t need to remind you, dear reader, that there has never been an overdose of cannabis, nor are cannabis-related traffic accidents as common as drinking and driving.

That an individual should be “sober” all the time (does that include coffee?) is a Puritan wet dream and a nightmare for anyone actually living in reality.

People love augmenting their senses and cannabis is the safest way to do it.

But Dr. Mercer insists that the federal government gather “baseline data” before legalization occurs.

Or, in other words, keep drinking booze from the multinational suppliers and government retailers while we continue to treat grown adults like children.

For example, Dr. Mercer is horrified that in some jurisdictions cannabis is available in lollypop form.

“That is targeting children,” she said, forgetting the fact that a) adults also enjoy lollypops, it is a non sequitur to jump to the conclusion that THC-infused lollypops are made for children, and, b) “normal” lollypops are basically refined sugar balls on a stick.

Neither of these products are for children! So why the concern over the lollypop that contains THC?

Well, because, according to Mercer and the zeitgeist of our times, “cannabis has a very significant effect on the developing brain… there is mounting evidence that early adolescent use… has the potential to permanently alter the developing brain especially… the motivational centre, things that don’t get fixed by cessation.”

Okay, now it’s personal.

I smoked my first joint when I was 15, and for a while there as a 16-year-old I was a daily toker. Why else do they call it “high” school?

Have I permanently damaged my brain due to this habit? I seem to be doing okay for myself.

If someone wanted to slow down or quit cannabis, is that action futile? If a teenager read Mercer’s words and realized that certain cognitive functions won’t “get fixed by cessation,” then is Mercer implying that this teenager might as well keep smoking cannabis forever?

Mercer is spewing misinformation, a secular Puritanism that assumes “the children” are the responsibility of taxpayers and that grown adults need strict governance from their wise overlords.

It’s the democratic fallacy: people are stupid so they must be ruled by people are stupid so they must be ruled by people are stupid… and so fourth. Where we’re smart enough to elect the right people but too stupid to run our own lives.

This is also the problem with the Soviet health-care model. Medical science is influenced by whoever controls the political apparatus, and since there’s no free-and-fair opposition, these health boards hold a monopoly on “legitimate” medical information.

The idea that cannabis is harmful goes unchallenged. But where’s the proof?