Know the Facts - Change the Law

Know the Facts - Change the Law
Life - Liberty - Pursuit of Happiness

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is it really America’s responsibility to arrest adults for their private choices?

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This article below is misleading, only because the author has been mislead. There have always been lurid, over the top claims made about potential “reefer madness” effects from the use of ganja. But the claims don’t match reality.

Despite almost eighty years of claims such as the claim in the 1930’s that black men were using marijuana to make white women sexually available, to ‘60’s claims that men would grow breast, to modern claims of death and insanity, there is no empirical evidence to support a single one of the horror story claims about the supposed dangers of ganja consumption.

The governments’ own studies, from the Nixon era Schafer Report, the LaGuardia Report, and more modern studies such as that by the NIDA in the mid ‘70’s and the more recent study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, have all debunked sensationalized claims about a gateway effect. In fact, every single independent study commissioned by the government says that the real gateway is prohibition itself.

In reality, only the misinformed or malicious still make any of these sorts of lurid, inaccurate claims about ganja’s supposed dangers. Thinking people know better.

By enabling a black market in which ganja is commonly sold by dealers who also profit heavily from heavier drugs like cocaine, meth and heroine, the laws are responsible for exposing people to these other drugs.

Coupled with a fading trust in government sources due to the lies and exaggerations they tell about ganja, it is the government that is responsible for  an environment where children no longer believe possibly more accurate concerns about the health effects of harder drugs.

Just as important to note, arresting adults for using ganja has had no effect on perceived dangers of the ultimate deadly drug, alcohol, or children’s disapproval of ganja use.

While it may well be responsible to discourage children from any drug use (including too quickly prescribed dangerous pharmaceuticals such as attention deficit and over-prescribed psychiatric medications), there is no connection between arresting adults for ganja consumption and children’s perceptions.

 

It is Americans' responsibility to help curb teens' drug abuse

Marijuana, considered by some as a "gateway" drug to more dangerous addictive substances, and binge drinking get a favorable assessment by teens.

•Among eighth- and 10th-graders, the perception of "great risk" associated with marijuana use declined; perceived harmfulness of marijuana deteriorated among eighth-graders; and peer disapproval of marijuana use has declined.

It is Americans' responsibility to help curb teens' drug abuse | delawareonline.com | The News Journal

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