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MAPTalk-Digest Monday, November 30 2009 Volume 09 : Number 119

001 George Will's Rocky Mountain Medical Marijuana High
    From: Richard Lake <>
002 Does Marijuana Really Help Autistic Children and Adolescents Cope with 
    From: "Herb" <>


Subj: 001 George Will's Rocky Mountain Medical Marijuana High
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 06:13:39 -0800



DrugSense FOCUS Alert #421 - Sunday, 29 November 2009

Today the Washington Post Writers Group syndicated columnist George 
Will's column about Colorado's medicinal marijuana law, below, 
appeared in many newspapers.

The issues and the spin in the column should provide fodder for any 
letter to the editor writer.

Below is a list of newspapers we know printed the column with the 
newspaper's title, the article title used, the date printed if not 
today, and the contact for sending your letters.

Norman Transcript (OK) Printed Sat, 28 Nov 2009

Rocky Mountain Medical High

Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) Printed Sat, 28 Nov 2009

Legal 'Medical' Pot A Dangerous Farce

Abilene Reporter-News (TX)

Rocky Mountain Medical High

Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)

A Dubious Medical High

State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

Pitfalls of Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Post-Star, The (Glens Falls, NY)

The Leaf Offers False Hopes

Dayton Daily News (OH) Printed Sat, 28 Nov 2009

Are Medical Marijuana's Customers Really Sick?

Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rocky Mountain Medical High

Washington Post (DC)

Rocky Mountain High

San Angelo Standard-Times (TX)

The Rocky Mountain Medical High

Grand Forks Herald (ND)

Drop 'Medical' From Medical Pot Laws

If MAP's Newshawks find additional newspapers that printed this 
column they will appear here


DENVER -- Inside the green neon sign, which is shaped like a 
marijuana leaf, is a red cross.  The cross serves the fiction that 
most transactions in the store -- which is what it really is -- 
involve medicine.

The U.S.  Justice Department recently announced that federal laws 
against marijuana would not be enforced for possession of marijuana 
that conforms to states' laws.  In 2000, Colorado legalized medical 
marijuana.  Since Justice's decision, the average age of the 400 
persons a day seeking "prescriptions" at Colorado's multiplying 
medical marijuana dispensaries has fallen precipitously.  Many new 
customers are college students.

Customers -- this, not patients, is what most really are -- tell 
doctors at the dispensaries that they suffer from insomnia, anxiety, 
headaches, premenstrual syndrome, "chronic pain," whatever, and pay 
nominal fees for "prescriptions." Most really just want to smoke pot.

So says Colorado's attorney general, John Suthers, an honest and 
thoughtful man trying to save his state from institutionalizing such 
hypocrisy.  His dilemma is becoming commonplace: 13 states have, and 
15 more are considering, laws permitting medical use of marijuana.

Realizing they could not pass legalization of marijuana, some people 
who favor that campaigned to amend Colorado's Constitution to 
legalize sales for medicinal purposes.  Marijuana has medical uses -- 
e.g., to control nausea caused by chemotherapy -- but the helpful 
ingredients can be conveyed with other medicines.  Medical marijuana 
was legalized but, Suthers says, no serious regime was then developed 
to regulate who could buy -- or grow -- it.  (Caregivers? For how 
many patients? And in what quantities, and for what "medical uses.")

Today, Colorado communities can use zoning to restrict dispensaries, 
or can ban them because, even if federal policy regarding medical 
marijuana is passivity, selling marijuana remains against federal 
law.  But Colorado's probable future has unfolded in California, 
which in 1996 legalized sales of marijuana to persons with doctors' 

Fifty-six percent of Californians support legalization, and Roger 
Parloff reports ("How Marijuana Became Legal" in the Sept.  28 
Fortune) that they essentially have this.  He notes that many 
California "patients" arrive at dispensaries "on bicycles, roller 
skates or skateboards." A Los Angeles city councilman estimates that 
there are about 600 dispensaries in the city.  If so, they outnumber 
the Starbucks stores there period.

The councilman wants to close dispensaries whose intent is profit 
rather than "compassionate" distribution of medicine.  Good luck with 
that: Privacy considerations will shield doctors from investigations 
of their lucrative 15-minute transactions with "patients."

Colorado's medical marijuana dispensaries have hired lobbyists to 
seek taxation and regulation, for the same reason Nevada's brothel 
industry wants to be taxed and regulated by the state: The Nevada 
Brothel Association regards taxation as legitimation and insurance 
against prohibition as the booming state's frontier mentality recedes.

State governments, misunderstanding markets and ravenous for 
revenues, exaggerate the potential windfall from taxing legalized 
marijuana.  California thinks it might reap $1.4 billion.  But 
Rosalie Pacula, a RAND Corporation economist, estimates that 
prohibition raises marijuana production costs at least 400 percent, 
so legalization would cause prices to fall much more than the 50 
percent the $1.4 billion estimate assumes.

Furthermore, marijuana is a normal good in that demand for it varies 
with price.  Legalization, by drastically lowering price, will 
increase marijuana's public health costs, including mental and 
respiratory problems and motor vehicle accidents.

States attempting to use high taxes to keep marijuana prices 
artificially high would leave a large market for much cheaper illegal 
- - -- unregulated and untaxed -- marijuana.  So revenues (and law 
enforcement savings) would depend on the price falling close to the 
cost of production.  In the 1990s, a mere $2 per pack difference 
between U.S.  and Canadian cigarette prices created such a smuggling 
problem that Canada repealed a cigarette tax increase.

Suthers has multiple drug-related worries.  Colorado ranks sixth in 
the nation in identity theft, two-thirds of which is driven by the 
state's $1.4 billion annual methamphetamine addiction.  He is loath 
to see complete legalization of marijuana at a moment when new 
methods of cultivation are producing plants in which the active 
ingredient, THC, is "seven, eight times as concentrated" as it used 
to be.  Furthermore, he was pleasantly surprised when a survey of 
nonusing young people revealed that health concerns did not explain 
nonuse.  The main explanation was the law: "We underestimate the 
number of people who care that something is illegal."

But they will care less as law itself loses its dignity.  By mocking 
the idea of lawful behavior, legalization of medical marijuana may be 
more socially destructive than full legalization.


Prepared by: Richard Lake, Senior Editor


Subj: 002 Does Marijuana Really Help Autistic Children and Adolescents Cope with Their Symptoms? 
From: "Herb" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 11:30:47 -0800

Does Marijuana Really Help Autistic Children and Adolescents Cope with Their 


End of MAPTalk-Digest V09 #119

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