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The Case Against Safe Supply? – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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Is there a case against safe supply? Lately, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has faced criticisms for his opposition to safe supply sites, also known as “safe injection sites” or “overdose prevention sites.”

These are facilities where people use substances under the supervision of trained staff. These facilities aim to reduce the harm associated with drug use by providing a safe and hygienic environment and access to clean needles and other supplies, counselling, and medical care in case of overdose.

With broad “public health” support, critics cast Poilievre’s opposition as an ideological bulwark against the evidence-based compassion of left-wing progressives.

But are safe supply sites evidence-based? What about the experts, like Dr. Julian Somers or Dr. Vincent Lam, who disagree with the established narrative?

Or is the idea taboo? That there may be some unintended consequences of flooding our communities with accessible opioids?

How can a policy be evidence-based if we treat all opposition as misinformation not worth considering?

Safe Supply Reduces Addiction? 

The Case Against Safe Supply?

In the movie Vancouver is Dying, filmmaker Aaron Gunn documents how addicts will use legal means to acquire methadone and then sell it on the street for fentanyl. Doctors have confirmed they’ve heard the same from some of their patients.

It’s a narrative no one wants to hear, but it’s true: some people like fentanyl.

True, some people take another drug someone else has laced with fentanyl, and that’s a problem with prohibition. But in other cases, people actively seek out the high associated with fentanyl.

Why? Because people like drugs. This seemingly banal fact has been obscured by “addiction experts” and other busybody public health officials who claim people become slaves to their habits and cannot make rational choices.

This ideology is labelled “evidence-based,” but what evidence do we have that addiction is a disease of the brain or a medical condition requiring a lifetime of recovery? Brain scans don’t reveal the inner thoughts of people.

It is perfectly valid to view addiction as a person’s choice to cope with underlying emotional or psychological problems. People who struggle with addiction can regain control of their lives by understanding the reasons behind their behaviour.

They can make a conscious decision to change their drug habits. Even eliminate them.

We’ve become a society that chastises personal responsibility and accountability as symptoms of “white privilege” and “structural racism.” So there’s little surprise that we haven’t solved our addiction issues.

Public health approaches addiction under the false assumption that it’s a disease. This leads to policies like safe supply sites, which, as Dr. Kelly Anthony put it, “consigns the addict to be a slave forever.”

Who Criticizes Safe Supply? 

The Case Against Safe Supply?

Dr. Kelly Anthony is one of the few doctors in Canada willing to criticize “safe supply.” She says other doctors and academics are unwilling to publicly criticize safe supply due to political pressures, shaming, shunning, and silencing done to critics. 

Look no further than the Ontario College of Psychologists going after Jordan Peterson for his dissent for a clear example of the witch-hunt that occurs when you step off the plantation. (Regardless of what you think of Peterson, a professional has the right to criticize the prevailing unscientific narratives of their profession, especially on social media.)

The B.C. government is targeting Dr. Julian Somers for his opposition to safe supply. Somers has maintained a database that links information about B.C.’s vulnerable populations to days spent in hospitals, detention centres, and their medications or income assistance.

Overall, this database has helped researchers accurately measure the impacts of government policies. Researchers have used it in over 30 provincial reports, 60 peer-reviewed publications and several graduate theses. 

Somers recently used the data to research the government’s anti-poverty programs.

The conclusion? B.C.’s current approach to homelessness is ineffective. It is better to prioritize rehabilitation, employment, and social reintegration. A “safe supply” of free drugs fosters dependency.

B.C. Government Wants Safe Supply Dissidents Silenced

“Portugal has 64 therapeutic communities and zero consumption sites. British Columbia has zero therapeutic communities and 40-something consumption sites,” Dr. Somers told the National Post

In February 2021, Dr. Somers presented his findings to the B.C. government. Did the government follow an “evidence-based” public health initiative?

Of course, not. The government told Somers to destroy the database from which he got this information. Of course, Somers has refused to comply. 

So the government has locked Dr. Somers out of future research with them. He’s been the subject of harassment from safe supply advocates. Conferences that disagree with his opinions on safe supply have disinvited him.

The British Columbia Centre on Substance Use calls Somer’s research “low quality.”

This Doctor Gets It

The Case Against Safe Supply?

Dr. Vincent Lam is a physician concerned that we’re replacing fentanyl addicts with hydromorphone addicts. 

He wrote in the Globe and Mail“If you are a proponent of “safe supply,” the ineffectiveness of prescribed hydromorphone in replacing street fentanyl supports the argument of making pharmaceutical grade heroin available instead, with more open access to this higher potency molecule.”

Dr. Lam doesn’t seem to be captured by the magic thinking of public health. He realizes that addicts are chasing a high. By giving them access to drugs with lower euphoria, “the notion of “safe supply” looks more like an infinite escalator than a destination. As dose and potency escalate, risk and harm escalates, and yet “safe supply” is sold as harm reduction,” he wrote.

“On the ground, the irony is that current “safe supply” does not meet the opioid requirements of those who are at highest risk – but it is these high-risk users whose lives it is meant to save.”

This Doctor Also Gets It

COVID-19: Vancouver's Downtown Eastside - a potential powder keg for coronavirus cases

Another doctor, Dr. Paxton Bach, who works in Vancouver‘s Downtown East Side, is on the fence.

He says, “Safe supply is the most immediate tool that I have available to try and stop somebody from dying tomorrow. But I worry that a discussion on safe supply in isolation, without talking about the systematic drivers of substance use, is incomplete. I’m less worried about de novo opioid-use disorder tomorrow with some diverted hydromorphone tablets, but I do wonder where this ends up taking us over the next 10 years without addressing these bigger questions.”

So what are these bigger questions? 

Dr. Lam recognizes that addiction often results from something else, whether it’s trauma, mental illness, poverty, or physical injury and pain.

“These are at once so diffusely powerful and inadequately addressed, that those of us who wield prescription pads are easily seduced by the promise of a solution by prescription, just as opioids promise solace in the smooth form of a nice, safe pill,” he writes.

Dr. Lam recalls Oxycodone, in which its manufacturer, Purdue, made unfounded claims of safety and non-addictiveness. They promised Oxy was a pain-killing solution; instead, it became a critical step in today’s opioid crisis.

The Case Against Safe Supply?

The Case Against Safe Supply?

Dr. Nick Mathew, a psychiatrist in Vancouver, wrote: “The benefits of the B.C. safe supply model are entirely unproven and theoretical. The downsides of increasing the amount of opioids in the population have a known harm.”

And indeed, it doesn’t take a doctor or “addictions expert” to see the problems with it. Safe supply sites:

  • Encourage drug use: Some critics argue that safe supply sites enable and condone drug use rather than promoting abstinence and discouraging drug use.
  • Divert resources from other programs: Critics argue that governments could better apply taxpayer resources to other programs, such as addiction treatment or housing support. This is Poilievre’s argument.
  • Legal issues: There are legal concerns about safe supply sites, especially in Canada, and it is a matter of ongoing debate.
  • Impact on public order: Some critics argue that safe supply sites have increased crime and disorder in the surrounding area. Whether we can solely attribute Vancouver’s tent cities to safe supply remains to be seen. But the injection sites have been influential.
  • Ethical concerns: Some critics argue that providing a safe place to use drugs may be morally or ethically problematic and that safe supply sites may condone drug use.
  • Lack of evidence: Critics argue that the effectiveness of safe supply sites is still unclear and not supported by enough scientific evidence.

Simon Fraser University issued a report that looked at 15 years of research. They concluded there were no documented benefits of safe supply sites.

Disagree? Then read the report and criticize how they came to their conclusions. Don’t do what the Toronto Star did and call it “critically low-quality” without giving any real reason as to why.

“Experts” responded that they were “disappointed” to see “this offensive and flawed report come from researchers working at a Canadian university, and request that [the government] give no serious consideration to it when deliberating safe supply policy.”

But according to Dr. Somers, one of the report’s authors, “We summarize and reference the abundant evidence that chronic consumption of opioids and stimulants causes harm to humans. This is not controversial.” 

Not Seeing for the Forest for the Trees

The Case Against Safe Supply?

The debate between public health busybodies and concerned physicians fails to capture the core of this issue. The B.C. Coroners Service has consistently reported that the toxicity of illegal drugs is causing drug deaths.

It has nothing to do with addiction or dependency. It is a problem of prohibition and regulation. The solution to our opioid crisis is to legalize all drugs, especially heroin. 

The issue isn’t drugs. It’s people who misuse drugs. Just like the gun issue isn’t about the guns per se, but the people who misuse them.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre may misdiagnose the opioid crisis and the homelessness problem. But his critics are no better. They are often worse.

The issues related to safe supply, drug addictions, homelessness, and mental health all stem from the same origin. Corporate profiteering sanctioned by the government under the guise of “public health” or “regulation” or whatever soundbite they’re deceiving you with this week.

It’s what created the opioid crisis we have today. And it’s sowing the seeds of the next drug-related crisis. It’s the reason behind our skyrocketing costs of living and all the unnecessary wars of the last 80 years.

It’s the origin behind our corrupt politicians, lying media, and pill-pushing doctors. In most circles, this type of corporate and government power merger is called fascism. 

Perhaps you have a grandfather or great-grandfather who risked his life fighting against that system and for the freedom of private property and voluntary trade.

Are their deaths in vain? Or is this the decade we finally do something about it?





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More Weed, More Problems? – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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More weed, more problems? As in, if you smoke all day, everyday, your life is likely a hot mess with no hope of redemption? According to recent research from CU Boulder, the answer to “more weed, more problems” is no.

According to researchers, legalizing recreational cannabis at the state level does not lead to an increase in substance use disorders. Or even increased use of illicit drugs among adults. In fact, it may even decrease issues related to alcohol abuse.

A study involving over 4,000 twins from Colorado and Minnesota found no correlation between cannabis legalization and any increases in cognitive, psychological, social, relationship, or financial problems.

“We really didn’t find any support for a lot of the harms people worry about with legalization,” said lead author Stephanie Zellers. “From a public health perspective, these results are reassuring.”

The study, published in Psychological Medicine, was conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota, CU Boulder and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The study used data from two of the nation’s most extensive and longest-running twin studies: one located at IBG and the other at the Minnesota Center for Twin Family Research.

What Are Twin Studies? 

More Weed, More Problems?

Can twin studies prove that more weed doesn’t equal more problems? Well, what are twin studies?

Twin studies are research designs that compare identical (monozygotic) and fraternal (dizygotic) twins. The idea is that identical twins share all their genes, while fraternal twins share only about half of their genes.

So any differences between the two types of twins can help researchers identify which traits or conditions are likely influenced by genetics and which are likely influenced by environment. Researchers can use twin studies to study a wide range of topics, including genetics, development, and health.

IBG stands for Institute of Behavioral Genetics, a research center at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Minnesota Center for Twin Family Research located at the University of Minnesota.

Both centers conduct twin studies and have been collecting data over the years. And both centers are among the nation’s most prominent and longest-running twin studies. They provide researchers with a wealth of data on genetic and environmental factors related to human behaviour and development.

The Problem with Twin Studies

Of course, Twin studies are not without their critics.

  1. Assumption of equal environments: Twin studies sometimes assume that identical and fraternal twins are raised in similar environments, but this may not always be the case. For example, identical twins may be treated more similarly than fraternal twins, which could affect the results.
  2. Limited generalizability: Researchers often conduct twin studies on small, specific samples, such as twins from a particular country or region. This limits the generalizability of the findings to other populations.
  3. Missing heritability: Twin studies estimate the proportion of variation in a trait or condition due to genetics. But they do not account for all the genetic variation that may influence the trait or condition.
  4. Complexity of human behaviour: Many complex human behaviours and conditions, such as mental disorders or intelligence, likely result from multiple genes and environmental factors. Twin studies may not fully capture these interactions.
  5. Selection bias: Twins who volunteer for studies might differ from twins who do not volunteer, which can bias the results.

Twin Studies Disprove More Weed, More Problems? 

More Weed, More Problems?

The researchers of this “more weed, more problems” study compared the 40% of twins who reside in states where recreational cannabis is legal to those who live in states where it remains illegal to understand the overall impact of legalization.

Researchers have been tracking the participants, who are now between the ages of 24 and 49, since their adolescence. They’ve been gathering information on their use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and several other illicit drugs, as well as assessing their overall well-being.

By specifically comparing twins within 240 pairs, in which one twin lives in a state with legal cannabis and the other where it is not, the researchers aimed to identify any changes caused by cannabis legalization.

The researchers previously found that identical twins residing in states where recreational cannabis is legal tend to use it around 20% more often than their twins living in states where it remains illegal.

So does that mean more weed, more problems?

To answer this question, the team compared survey results that examined 23 indicators of “psychosocial distress.” Including the use of alcohol and illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin, psychological distress, financial difficulties, cognitive issues, unemployment, and relationship issues both at home and at work.

“We included everything we had data on with the goal of getting a well-rounded look at the impacts on the whole person,” said Zellers. “Big picture, there’s not much there.”

No, More Weed Does Not Equal More Problems

More Weed, More Problems?

So is “more weed, more problems” debunked?

Researchers found no relationship between legal cannabis and an increased risk of “cannabis use disorder” or dependency.

For years, critics have called cannabis a “gateway” drug to harder substances like cocaine and heroin. The researchers found no changes post-legalization.

“For low-level cannabis use, which was the majority of users, in adults, legalization does not appear to increase the risk of substance use disorders,” said co-author Dr. Christian Hopfer.

Not only does this study question the “more weed, more problems” narrative, but it also shows legal cannabis’ benefit. People in legal states are less likely to develop alcohol dependency problems, including driving drunk.

“Our study suggests that we should not be overly concerned about everyday adult use in a legalized environment. But no drug is risk-free,” said John Hewitt, professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder.

While the study found no adverse effects on the daily lives of cannabis-consuming adults, the study also found no evidence that legal cannabis benefited people’s cognitive, psychological, social, relationship, or financial status.

Overall, the study seems to suggest the same thing we have before. Substances are neutral. It is the person who can choose to use or abuse them. But the drugs themselves have no innate power of control.





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Health Canada: Let’s Ban Potent Cannabis Extracts  – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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Despite a healthcare system already on the verge of collapse pre-COVID, Health Canada bureaucrats have focused on cannabis companies selling extracts.

Health Canada recently requested federally licensed cannabis companies to discontinue the sale of cannabis products the bureaucracy considers mislabeled. Health Canada is concerned adults are consuming products labelled “extracts” as “edibles.”

The move is expected to cost cannabis companies millions of dollars. And it comes at a time when most publicly traded cannabis producers are still losing money.

Why target products that have been on the market for three years? Health Canada has not responded to any media on the topic, including Cannabis Life Network’s request for clarification.

Health Canada: Let's Ban Cannabis Extracts 

While Health Canada’s targeting of cannabis extracts surprises many, others, like CLN, have been expecting this move for a while.

In the letter seen by MJBizDaily, Health Canada said that “upon further review of the products in question, Health Canada has assessed that this product is edible cannabis and, consequently, it contains a quantity of THC that exceeds the allowable limit of 10 mg per immediate container.”

The letter goes on to define “extract,” “edible,” and “food.”

“Health Canada has determined that (the products in question) are consumed in the same manner as food, and therefore fit the definition of edible cannabis,” the Health Canada letter says.

Cannabis extracts cannot exceed 1,000 milligrams per container, one hundred times more than Health Canada permits in the edible class. Ergo, companies would instead produce extracts than edibles.

However, the line has gotten blurred, and this is likely what concerns the bureaucracy’s busybodies. For example, New Brunswick-based cannabis producer Organigram has a “Jolts” product advertised as a lozenge. While each candy is 10mg, the entire pack of 100mg.

Likewise, Redecan has a cannabis extract containing 800 to 1000mg of THC per bottle. However, the oral dispensing syringe caps each “dose” at 8-10mg. 

Are these the products Health Canada wants discontinued?

Health Canada On Extracts: Useless

Health Canada: Let's Ban Cannabis Extracts 

Why Health Canada? And why now? Why at all?

Industry sources expect to lose tens of millions if Health Canada demands extracts and lozenges get pulled from the Canadian cannabis market. They also expect the illicit and legacy markets to fill the void.

Regardless of what you think about public health and safety or an individual’s freedom to consume as much THC as they want, there’s significant concern about how Health Canada is going about this.

This kind of regulatory enforcement is akin to banana republics. Health Canada has already approved these products. Organigram’s “Jolts” have been on the market for over a year.

Producers of these extracts followed all the rules and regulations. And now Health Canada will arbitrarily limit (or ban) these products because… what? Canadian consumers prefer potent extracts over weak-ass edibles?

The lesson here is to remove all THC limits, not bring the hammer down on companies producing legal products. This is not how you regulate an industry.

Infantilizing Adults

While Health Canada hasn’t responded to a request for comment, I suspect the justification will likely be over “public health” and “increased hospitalizations from high-THC products.”

Another way of saying: we’re so bad at delivering health care that instead of improving it, we’re going to start controlling the behaviours that may lead people to need a hospital bed.

That’s the most insulting part of all of this. Health Canada treats adult cannabis consumers like children by limiting their autonomy and decision-making.

Actions speak louder than words. Health Canada bureaucrats (who live off our taxes) lack trust in cannabis-consuming adults to make their own choices and take responsibility for their actions.

When regulations are not based on evidence or are not well-reasoned, they are an infringement on personal liberty and autonomy.

Even with “conventional thinking,” in which government regulations are effective and immune to corruption and politics, it’s essential that regulators balance the need to protect public health and safety with the need to respect adults’ autonomy and decision-making abilities.

Health Canada’s crackdown on cannabis extracts clearly violates that balance. 

This situation would be like if Health Canada discovered that vodka and whiskey were stronger than beer. And so they order distilleries across the nation to arbitrarily limit their alcohol content and take the products off the shelves.

Health Canada has no business regulating cannabis. 

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10 Ways Most Cannabis Research is False – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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Most cannabis research is false. A bold statement. So what does it mean? In 2005, Stanford University professor John Ioannidis published the paper “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.”

In it, he argued that most published research findings are false due to a combination of factors such as small sample sizes, inadequate adjustment for multiple comparisons, and conflicts of interest.

The paper made quite an uproar in the scientific community. While some criticized Ioannidis for simplifying the problem, most agree there is a replication crisis in scientific literature. For example, one study may find cannabis increases the risk of heart attacks. But if no other research can replicate its findings, is the study telling us anything authentic or valid?

The replication crisis doesn’t only affect sociology, medicine or psychology. It also affects cannabis studies. Leading to an uncomfortable conclusion: most cannabis research is false. 

Most Cannabis Research is False

Most Cannabis Research is False

Is most cannabis research false? The replication crisis has led to calls for more transparency and rigour in the research process. But ultimately, the only way out is to evaluate studies based on their replication rate.

Can adolescent cannabis use lead to psychosis or an increased risk of developing schizophrenia? Are cannabis consumers less likely to abuse opioid-based pain medication? Does cannabis make you a more compassionate person? Can it lead to poor cardiovascular health? Will cannabis impair your driving?

Some studies answer in the affirmative, others in the negative. Prohibitionists and public health busybodies like to cite studies that show cannabis’ negative qualities. Proponents of cannabis tend to mention the positive studies.

But most cannabis research is false, whether it confirms your bias or not.

10 Ways Most Cannabis Research is False

The replication crisis has affected studies on cannabis in several ways, including:

  1. Lack of replication: Many studies on cannabis have been criticized for their inability to be replicated. This calls into question the validity of their findings.
  2. Lack of standardization: There is a lack of standardization in the way cannabis is used and administered in studies (not to mention the strains used, their specific cannabinoid content, etc.). This makes it impossible to compare results across different studies.
  3. Small sample sizes: Many studies on cannabis have small sample sizes, which can lead to unreliable results.
  4. Lack of control groups: Some studies on cannabis have lacked proper control groups. This makes it difficult to determine the specific effects of cannabis.
  5. Uncontrolled variables: Many studies on cannabis have not controlled for other factors that could affect the results, such as tobacco use or poor diet. Sometimes, researchers won’t even account for underlying medical conditions.
  6. Limited generalizability: Some researchers conduct studies on cannabis on specific populations, such as patients with a particular medical condition, which can limit the generalizability of the results to the general population.
  7. Publication bias: There is a tendency for researchers to publish positive or negative results than inconclusive results. This leads to an over-representation of “findings” in the literature.
  8. Funding bias: Studies funded by industry stakeholders, such as pharmaceutical companies. This makes the study more likely to produce favourable results than studies funded by other sources. This ultimately creates a bias in the literature.
  9. Lack of transparency: Some studies on cannabis have been criticized for lack of transparency in their methods and results. This makes it challenging to evaluate the robustness of their findings.
  10. Prevalence of observational studies: There is a high prevalence of observational studies in cannabis research, which are prone to bias and confounding. They are less substantial than RCTs (randomized controlled trials) in determining causality.

This overreliance on observational studies means most cannabis research is false. Just as funding bias results in slogans like “Follow the Science,” which is ultimately synonymous with “Follow the Money.”

Studies Say” is the Modern Equivalent to, “The Scriptures Say…”

Most Cannabis Research is False

We’re not here to bash anyone’s spiritual beliefs. If you find solace in Holy Scripture, then all the best. But if you try and argue that your interpretation of the scriptures is describing a reality we all must follow, we’re going to have a problem.

Likewise, we won’t call out anyone using research studies to help navigate the world. You may be on a vegan diet and, therefore, like reading studies confirming the lifestyle’s benefits.

But, once you begin arguing with others that the vegan lifestyle is the only way to live, and you support these opinions by referring to “studies,” then it’s time to step back and reassess.

Both “scriptures” and “studies” express authority or provide evidence for a particular belief or claim.

Scriptures refer to religious texts or teachings considered sacred or authoritative by those who follow that faith. 

Studies, on the other hand, refer to scientific research findings. These are supposed to be based on empirical evidence and subject to rigorous testing, verification, and replication

The failure of much modern research, including cannabis research, to replicate findings is no small matter. That is why most cannabis research is false.

When you read: “Randomized controlled trials evaluating the therapeutic use and safety of marijuana are lacking, but a growing body of evidence suggests that marijuana consumption may be associated with adverse cardiovascular risks.”

You can roll your eyes. There is no “growing body of evidence” because, without RCTs, there is no evidence. Without replication, all you have is an opinion.





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