My Sad and Frightening Evening with Dr. Diane MacIntosh

The incident on this article, though a couple of months again, it stays related and will proceed to be related so long as the Prohibitionist aspect pushes lies and false science onto the general public.

Allow me to introduce you all to one of the efficient liars on their aspect – she’s engaging, well-spoken, good at what she does, resides within the coronary heart of the Canadian West Coast activist scene and until you’re ready for her, she is going to crush you in a debate: Dr. Diane MacIntosh.

I do know this as a result of I’ve confronted her. And under, I’ll inform you all of the the place’s and whys of the way it occurred..

It was a soggy Pacific Northwest night, typical for late fall. I wandered my soggy self into the “HOpe Center Atrium” (named that means for it’s namesakes: Robert and Greta Ho) in North Vancouver. I used to be there to attend the “High Potency Pot Poses Risks to The Developing Brain” lecture, I had a sense of trepidation overcome me as I dripped dry within the threshold.

Other than me, there was just one younger individual on the assembly – she seemed like she was too younger to
be there on her personal. The relaxation have been grey haired people, and maybe a number of psychiatrists of their 40s thrown in to the combination – principally individuals raised within the 1950’s and 1960’s …prime age for indoctrination into “reefer madness” – the super-charged “let’s get all our pot information from a pill pusher who’s never tried pot” sort of insanity.

Still, it was worse than I imagined it will be. Enter Diane MacIntosh.

Her bona-fides are an undergraduate diploma in pharmacy and a level in psychiatry. She is a medical assistant professor at UBC, has a busy personal apply and teaches psychiatry and “rational pharmacology.”

She sits on the board of Directors of CANMAT – the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments and the Advisory Board for CADDRA, the Canadian ADHD Research Alliance. She has simply begun to weblog for the Huffington Post.

She began off with the usual canard. I didn’t report her actual phrases, however she principally stated, cannabis is far more potent lately and is thus extra harmful than earlier than.
She makes the identical argument in her weblog (right here I used to be recording): “In my April 8 blog, I explained that due to selective breeding the potency of THC in street pot has risen exponentially. This has inversely mirrored the reduction/elimination of cannabidiol, the purported antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, neuroprotective component of cannabis (the evidence for its benefits is mixed but promising). I have argued that THC is pro-psychotic.” She offers a link to a study as proof of her level.

She continued by saying, ““There is a shift in the production of illicit cannabis plant material from regular marijuana to sinsemilla. This increase in potency poses higher risk of cannabis use, particularly among adolescents.”

Now right here is the place I get fired up.

What she doesn’t inform you, and what the research doesn’t inform you, is that cannabis is a “high potency” cannabis product and it’s been obtainable – all over the place – for hundreds of years. In reality, for a few years, you can solely get cannabis – marijuana flowers weren’t straightforward to seek out till the late 1990’s for a lot of Canada. At least that was my expertise rising up in Edmonton, Alberta, and smoking as a lot hash as I might get my palms on from 1985 onward.

The reality of the matter is, because the 1960’s, teenagers throughout North America have been taking heroic-dose knife hoots off large quantities of fairly potent cannabis till they have been pressured to lie down and watch eyelid cartoons for 2 hours … however I.Q.s haven't been falling and psychosis charges haven't been growing consequently.

I needed to inform her this, however I additionally needed to listen to the remainder of what she needed to say with out affecting her presentation by difficult her too early … so I bit my tongue and waited.
At the start of the lecture she requested that folks put up their palms for clarification. A couple of individuals requested her a number of questions – no one was difficult her on her premise. She obtained round to speaking about how charges of schizophrenia in Canada have been at 1%. I made a decision, lastly, to place up my hand.

“You say that rates of schizophrenia in Canada were about 1%. Do you have any data to suggest that that rate has changed since the 1960’s?” I requested.

“That data isn’t available” was her reply.

“In Macleod et al. (2004) they checked out knowledge from Britain and Sweden and they didn’t
discover a rise.” got here my retort.

“THC is one of the causes of psychosis but it’s not the only one … and it may only cause psychosis in a small number of users.” she responded.

“Have you heard of a research referred to as “Rat Park” from 1981 from Simon Frazier University?” I interjected.


“It compared the results of testing rats in cages vs. testing rats in a nice park they could be social and have fun in, and they found the rats in the park didn’t do drugs nearly as much as the one trapped in cages. Rat Park has led many people from the researcher field to understand that researcher bias can be the most important factor in drug testing … and that injecting rats with pure THC can result in different conclusions than observing cannabis users using cannabis properly in their natural habitat.”

“Researcher bias can be found in both anti-cannabis and pro-cannabis literature”. she replied. I’m paraphrasing, however that was the essence of her argument.

Because the moderator had determined I had used up all my follow-up questions, I used to be shushed and Dr. McIntosh (she spelled her identify in another way in her weblog publish than on her lecture announcement) continued with her presentation.

I did really feel compelled to talk up once more when she trotted out the gateway principle. She stated “I asked my patients who used hard drugs if they had ever used cannabis – and nearly all of them had said they had.”

“Did you ask them if they had used caffeine?”

“That’s not the same thing.”

“Why isn’t it the same thing?”

Then the moderator came to visit and I used to be hushed once more. Dr. McIntosh ignored my query and continued with her presentation.

I spoke up one final time when some mom blamed her son’s suicide on cannabis. I informed her I used to be involved concerning the handful of teenagers that died yearly from cannabis raids and botched arrest makes an attempt – just like the time Daniel Possee died in a raid in North Vancouver in 1992 over a half ounce of cannabis. The deaths from cannabis raids have been actual, the connection between cannabis and suicide was speculative.


Moderated once more.

At the top of her lecture I applauded with the remaining, and then I approached her and gave her a replica of the book I wrote on this subject.

I wrote this guide on this topic. You may discover it helpful ultimately.”

She took it and thanked me for it. She was rather more nice an individual than “Smart Approaches to Marijuana” anti-pot activist Pamela McColl … which is what frightened me.

She sounded rational to anybody who hadn’t taken the time to tell themselves on the difficulty. She had the viewers consuming out of the palm of her hand. She bought modern-day reefer insanity and made it sound respectable. Unlike different lower-mainland of BC prohibitionists I had encountered earlier than, she was good at what she did. I've a sense that this won't be the final time she might be making her claims about cannabis in public. I hope our group continues to problem her to again up what she says, no matter how efficient this “direct confrontation” strategy appears to be on the time.

Ultimately, we get the kind of legalization we accept.

If we permit our sort of legalization to be formed by lies, then probably the most weak individuals of all:
1) the younger that suffer beneath continued “post-legalization-prohibition” and
2) the poor who can’t afford to leap via the regulatory hoops created by “pot makes kids crazy” propaganda –  will proceed to be brutalized within the identify of public well being.

Keep your eyes on Dr. Macintosh, I think she’s received man you extra bitter drugs to jam down our throats, even when her science misses the mark.

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