October 17, 2018 will go down in history as the day that the Y2K bug finally hit Canada legalized cannabis. It’s also getting legalized or decriminalized in more and more locations around the world.
Over the past year, I’ve been asked a ton of questions about this. In particular, people want to know whether I’m “for” or “against” legalization…
But I’m not the right person to answer that. The legal, social, and economic reasons for legalizing weed aren’t my area of expertise. My expertise is within science and health.
We know that criminalizing marijuana simply hasn’t worked. So I guess it’s a good idea to try something else.
And we have to face the facts: in Canada, at least 15% of people are known to consume cannabis. For young people, that number is 30-40%.
Still, I find myself annoyed by the two types of comments I hear most often, namely :
I do think it’s important to speak openly about cannabis. Unfortunately, I hear a lot of sketchy claims going around… so let’s assess their scientific accuracy!
Note #1 : For the sake of transparency, I should admit that I’ve never consumed cannabis in my life, not even a single toke. In general, I don’t really enjoy psychotropic substances (i.e. substances that produce an altered state of consciousness), including alcohol. I assume this doesn’t disqualify me from discussing the topic, considering that I haven’t consumed 99.999% of the medication I work with on a daily basis…
Note #2 : There are certain points that I don’t cover in the comic: driving under the influence of pot; the lack of a legal limit on the amount of THC in products containing marijuana; children or animals becoming intoxicated by accidentally consuming cannabis products; microdosing…This comic is pretty long as it is, so if need be, I’ll revisit the topic another time!
Note #3 : Many thanks to Robyn Penney for the translation!
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Stress and anxiety are helpful in life.
Imagine you’re hiking in Alaska, and you suddenly find yourself in front of a Kodiak bear that’s fresh out of hibernation and looking for his first meal. You can actually see drool coming out of his mouth, and the only defense you have is a spoon…
…Okay, bad example.
Let’s say you’re allergic to wasps. Stress is what tells you to be careful when they’re nearby. When you see a wasp, anxiety is what drives you to move in the opposite direction. These are normal defense mechanisms, and they’ve allowed human beings to evolve.
However, with evolution, the causes of anxiety changed in modern times: work, family, money, health, and so on. Cavemen didn’t care about all of that… but today, these are the things that stress us the most.
Today I’m going to talk about Generalized Anxiety Disorder, like I did before with depression. Although it’s a really common disorder, few people easily accept it or feel comfortable talking about it.
Note: You might need a little effort and imagination to get into this comic strip… but you’ll definitely appreciate it more if you try to go along with my unusual analogies. Enjoy!
Translated by Ellie Rieber with edits by Patricia Rainville; proofread by Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson.
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