Pubdate: Sun, 29 Sep 2002
Source: Beaufort Gazette, The (SC)
Copyright: 2002 The Beaufort Gazette
Author: Josh Kalish
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (ONDCP Media Campaign)


On Sept. 17, The Gazette ran an advertisement, "An Open Letter to Parents 
About Marijuana," sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy 
and an article on marijuana's hidden risks quoting both the director of 
this office and the surgeon general. I am neither a user nor a proponent of 
marijuana. I am however, dismayed by the efforts our government is 
undertaking, to address what may well be a problem of our own making.

How can we expect America's youth to take seriously the potential health 
risks of marijuana usage, when they are surrounded by parents who continue 
to smoke, in spite of the proven health risks, and live in a culture and 
with parents who extol the virtues of alcohol consumption?

How many lives are lost each year to marijuana use versus cigarettes? How 
many families are destroyed by marijuana use versus alcohol? How many 
highway fatalities are caused by marijuana 'highs' versus drunken drivers?

When our government makes cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption 
illegal, maybe the youth of America will take notice.

When parents stop smoking and stop drinking maybe then they will be able to 
talk to their kids.

Perhaps our nation's youth recognize the hypocrisy of declaring marijuana 
illegal and dangerous while allowing the sale and consumption of cigarettes 
and alcohol.

By the way, our nation's surgeon general states that marijuana contains 
three to five times more tar and carbon monoxide than a comparable amount 
of tobacco. And the point is? Know anyone who smokes 20 even 40 marijuana 
joints a day, every day, 365 days a year?

Josh Kalish, Beaufort
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