Pubdate: Fri, 01 Nov 2002
Source: Cambridge Reporter, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Cambridge Reporter
Author: Dave Colter
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)
Bookmark: (Youth)


I must express my sadness and anger at reading about the seven Cambridge 
high school students arrested and charged with possession of marijuana in 
last month's police raids on local schools. If convicted, these young 
people will be given criminal records before they are even out of school. 
With a criminal record, these young citizens will have great difficulty 
being bonded, will likely not be allowed to leave the country, and may not 
even be able to get a job! Why? Because they were found to be in possession 
of a substance no more harmful than a cup of coffee!

Despite what our government and its agencies tell us, marijuana has never 
been shown to have any long-term negative effects. It does not cause brain 
damage, it does not result in poor grades and it does not lead to harder 
drugs. These facts have all been scientifically proven (see Lynn Zimmer and 
John P. Morgan, Exposing Marijuana Myths: A Review of the Scientific 
Evidence, October 1995, The Open Society Institute/The Lindesmith Center).

Why then do most governments of the West continue to vilify marijuana? I 
strongly suspect that lobbying pressure from large pharmaceutical, tobacco, 
alcohol and possibly even textile corporations is motivating our so-called 
representatives to oppose marijuana legalization because these corporations 
fear competition.

It's time we realized that marijuana prohibition is a failure. It has 
caused serious problems while contributing nothing positive to our society. 
The worst of these problems was illustrated tragically last month. What a 
backwards society we are to abuse our youth in this way.

Dave Colter, Cambridge
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