Pubdate: Mon, 02 Oct 2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2000 The New York Times Company
Section: Oppinion
Contact:  229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
Fax: (212) 556-3622
Author: David C. Leven
Note: David Leven is Deputy Director, The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy


None of us want our teenagers to use drugs (Lessons column, Sept. 27).
Still, after two decades of the "just say no" message, half of high school
students have used drugs, with one in four reporting that they used
marijuana in the previous month.

Teenagers have learned that the use of one drug does not usually lead to the
use of others, and that there are vast differences between experimentation,
abuse and addiction. Even as we stress abstinence, we must also give
teenagers the in-formation and resources to ensure that they do the least
harm to themselves. Since many will use marijuana despite our strong
admonitions, they need to be strongly encouraged to use in moderation and
only occasionally - never at school, work, while playing sports or while

David C. Leven
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