Pubdate: Fri, 21 Apr 2000
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2000 Houston Chronicle
Contact:  Viewpoints Editor, P.O. Box 4260 Houston, Texas 77210-4260
Fax: (713) 220-3575
Author: John Wallace
Related: US TX: LTE: Weed, Booze Are Killers -


April 6 Viewpoints letter writer Don McDaniel doesn't seem to understand the
difference between correlation and causality when he writes that it is a
"scientific fact that addiction and hard drugs follow marijuana use."

Since I am sure that 99 percent of all heroin addicts drank milk when they
were children, would McDaniel also claim that it is "a scientific fact" that
milk drinking causes heroin addiction?

The relevant statistics -- which McDaniel didn't mention in his letter,
"Weed, booze are killers" -- is that the vast majority of marijuana users do
not go on to become addicted to heroin or cocaine.

McDaniel also stated that "those who choose to obey the law and live in a
civil manner simply cannot allow to succeed those who disobey laws and seek
to undermine our entire society."

He sounds exactly like an 1850s slave owner describing the Abolitionists
running the Underground Railway.

At least he was correct to say there is no comparison between alcohol and
marijuana. Alcohol abusers kill tens of thousands of people each year --
themselves, as well as innocent bystanders. But marijuana has never killed

The war on drugs is doing infinitely more damage to this country than the
drugs themselves could ever do. It accomplishes nothing except the
generation of violence and corruption and the erosion of our constitutional
rights. McDaniel evidently didn't learn anything from the Prohibition fiasco
of 1919.

Our grandparents (back in 1934) were a lot smarter than we are today. When
they realized they had made a disastrous mistake with Prohibition, they
repealed it and moved onward.

However, in 1934, the cult of omniscient government was just getting started
and had not fully taken root in this country.

John Wallace, Mico
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MAP posted-by: Don Beck