Pubdate: Fri, 13 Oct 2000
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2000 The Anchorage Daily News
Author: Vanessa Emerzian-Peters


In the United States:

A woman cannot vote or own property, including the jewelry she wears.

A black person can be bought, sold and made to work without benefit of wages.

No person is allowed to drink spirits at any time, not even in his own home.

This is some of our history. These conditions were enforceable by our laws 
and made sense to people at their respective times.

Paradigms change in the United States as we grow in cultural diversity and 
gain tolerance for new ideas. What makes sense to us today can seem 
ludicrous years from now and vice versa. There will come a time when 
marijuana is legal to use for adult recreation. In hindsight we will wonder 
why we so favored alcohol and demonized a milder alternative.

As for the "gateway drug" theory, kids typically try marijuana around the 
age they experiment with alcohol, before they graduate from high school. If 
they try both and discover how much milder the effects of marijuana are 
compared with those of alcohol, they may assume that either (a) adults 
don't know what they're talking about when it comes to recreational 
substances or (b) they've been lied to about the "danger of drugs" so 
adults can keep them from having fun.

Kids rebel. Those who feel they were duped on the ramifications of 
marijuana use may be more inclined to experiment with other, seriously 
harmful substances. The "gateway theory" has become a quagmire and defeated 
its own purpose.

Vanessa Emerzian-Peters

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