Ed Gogek, MD

February 08, 2016 08:45 ET

Ed Gogek, MD: Report by Canada's Foremost Addiction Research Institute Inaccurate and Misleading

Cannabis Policy Framework based on pro-marijuana advocacy, not science

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 8, 2016) - In 2014, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health released its Cannabis Policy Framework, a scientific report concluding that Canada should legalize marijuana. However, the report is riddled with easily disproved evidentiary errors and misleading information, a leading author in the anti-legalization movement said today.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and one of the world's leading research centres. Yet its report contains provably untrue statements, and its pro-legalization conclusion is based on these incorrectly reported facts, according to Ed Gogek, MD, an Arizona psychiatrist who trained at the University of Western Ontario and authored the book Marijuana Debunked.

"This report should be beyond reproach," Gogek said. "Instead, it repeats misinformation spread by the marijuana lobby and justifies it by misstating facts. This is a world-renowned research institution, yet it used false statements and misled the public about the potential harm of legalization. The report is neither evidence-based nor objective; it's pro-marijuana propaganda." Examples of the report's inaccuracies include:

  • The CAMH report says Canada spends "more than $1 billion … annually to enforce cannabis possession laws." But that figure comes from a study of all drug-related criminal enforcement costs, including trafficking as well as violent and property crimes committed by people under the influence or stealing to get money for drugs. The cost for enforcing possession laws is a tiny fraction of that $1 billion.
  • The report says, "cannabis use alone does not increase the likelihood that a person will progress to using other illegal substances." But a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that teens who use marijuana regularly are seven times as likely to use other illicit drugs later in life.
  • The report says, "prohibition of cannabis … does not deter people from consuming it." But a University of Michigan survey found 10 percent of teens said they'd use it if it were legal, and Colorado now has the highest rate of marijuana use in the U.S., twice the national average.

Dr. Gogek recently discussed the misinformation in a National Post op-ed, on the Jerry Agar Show (CFRB Toronto), and in a blog post. Links to the radio interview and op-ed can be found on the blog post: http://www.marijuanadebunked.com/canadian-government-scientists-mislead-public-on-marijuana/ A referenced five-page description of the factual inaccuracies is in Dr. Gogek's book, Marijuana Debunked. The five pages can be e-mailed upon request.

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