Pubdate: Mon, 23 Apr 2001
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 The Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Andrew Lewis


Jay Bacik claims that the 1998 National Drug Strategy Household Survey 
"shows less than 30 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over support the 
legalisation of marijuana for personal use, and less than 10 per cent 
support the legalisation of heroin, cocaine and other amphetamines" 
(Letters, April 20).

These survey results are disturbingly different from other surverys 
conducted over the 1990s that indicate support for marijuana legalisation 
never less than 50 per cent and up to 75 per cent.

Sir Humphrey Appleby would be able to explain these discrepancies. Survey 
results invariably favour the group who sponsored them, and statistics 
always favour the person interpreting them.

I wonder how many of the respondents were really in the 14- to 25-year age 
group and how many were in the 50-plus age group. Am I really supposed to 
believe that a statistically significant group of 14-year-olds responded to 
a national survey?

Of course, it is customary when you have no argument to resort to surveys 
and statistics.

Andrew Lewis, South Coogee, April 20.
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