Pubdate: Thu, 05 Dec 2002
Source: Westender (Vancouver, CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 WestEnder
Author: Robert Sharpe


Brian Peterson's Nov. 28-Dec. 4 column on the lies of U.S. drug czar John 
Walters was right on target. To hear it from John Walters, more Americans 
are in treatment for marijuana than alcohol. The drug czar is deliberately 
misrepresenting government data in an effort to justify the war on some drugs.

Record numbers of Americans arrested for marijuana possession have been 
forced into treatment by the criminal justice system. The resulting 
distortion of treatment statistics is then used to make the claim that 
marijuana is "addictive."

Zero-tolerance drug laws do not distinguish between occasional use and 
chronic abuse. The coercion of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis 
into taxpayer-funded treatment centres says a lot about U.S. government 
priorities, but absolutely nothing about the relative harms of marijuana.

For an objective take on marijuana, look to the Canadian Senate. In the 
words of Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, "Scientific evidence overwhelmingly 
indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and 
should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health 

The following U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration reports verify my claims regarding government coercion: For more
information on the Canadian Senate report visit:

Robert Sharpe, M.P.A.
Drug Policy Alliance
Washington, DC (
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