Pubdate: Sun, 04 Aug 2002
Source: Reporter, The (Fond du Lac, WI)
Copyright: 2002 Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
Author: Bruce Rideout


Normally, you would think a public health nurse would use solid data, 
verifiable facts and experience when commenting on a health issue. But 
instead, Darlene Hanke, Fond du Lac County public health nurse, managed to 
repeat every cannabis myth and lie used by our federal government drug 
warriors in her July 26 Backtalk ("Marijuana is indeed a big deal") in The 

Ms. Hanke sets out to settle this issue by repeating statements that have 
long ago been refuted. So here we have a public employee charged with 
responding to local health issues by regurgitating the false rhetoric she 
has been provided. So anyone in Fond du Lac County who comes looking for 
honest, factual information about drug use gets instead a shrill, 
lie-filled expose on propaganda. Shame on Darlene Hanke.

I was one of those she quotes from that wonderful and powerful three-part 
series on marijuana by Lee Reinsch of The Reporter staff. And I can verify 
with facts everything mentioned in this series.

However, Ms. Hanke cannot name even one source for her diatribe. To name 
just a few of the myths that she has hoisted up on you sensible folks: 
marijuana is a gateway drug/ the IOM report of 1999 clearly refuted that 
myth; amotivational syndrome/ not one shred of evidence to support a 
politically motivated statement; marijuana causes brain damage/ here is one 
of the most horrendous lies ever foisted on Americans.

The study from which this claim emanates was soundly refuted, and the 
scientist who conducted that study has long since recanted his claim and 
confessed to his false conclusion. Yet here we have a public employee 
repeating statements that are flat out false. Once again, shame on you, 
Darlene Hanke.

I could go on and on, but I think you see the real Ms. Hanke by now. If you 
are really interested in finding out the facts on cannabis, I suggest you 
visit the many Web sites dedicated to honest, open discussion of the facts. 
Several are and

- - Bruce Rideout

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