Pubdate: Tue, 19 Feb 2002
Source: Badger Herald (WI)
Copyright: 2002 Badger Herald
Authors: Clifford A. Schaffer, Austin King, Ray Carlson
Note: Title by mapinc editor


If you are going to report on the issue of marijuana's potential 
addictiveness ("Studies Show Marijuana may be Addictive," Feb. 15), 
at least give all the facts. The article states "scientists at the 
National Institute on Drug Abuse found monkeys would voluntarily give 
themselves THC in amounts similar to those inhaled by people who 
smoke marijuana. Self-administration of drugs by animals is perceived 
to be a trademark of addictive substances."

The truth is the only way the NIDA scientists could get monkeys to 
self-administrate THC was to get them seriously addicted to cocaine 
first. The monkeys were going through cocaine withdrawal. Is it any 
wonder that an animal going through cocaine withdrawal would want 
another drug to alleviate the suffering?

Clifford A. Schaffer, Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy

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Canyon Country, CA ----- This evening, City Council will debate and 
vote on renewal of the controversial Anti-Loitering Ordinance it 
passed some years back. This ordinance allows police to search and 
harass people hanging out in a "known drug area" or speaking with 
"known drug users or dealers."

Sounds pretty draconian, right? It gets worse. As you might suspect, 
"known drug areas" are black neighborhoods, and "known drug users or 
dealers" tend to be black people. In this city, which is over 90 
percent white, 90 percent of the victims of this ordinance have been 
people of color.

When asked to explain the disparate impact of the ordinance, Police 
Chief Dick Williams said, "Frankly, I don't know of any white drug 
dealers in Madison."

Frankly, that's one of the most racist things I've heard since coming 
to school here, and it is that very mindset which explains why being 
black is still a crime in our great city.

Austin King, UW junior

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I challenge the "scientific study" showing marijuana's addictive 
properties ("Studies Show Marijuana may be Addictive," Feb. 15). All 
of the other studies I have seen, including the 1972 Shaffer 
Commission and the 1998 IOM report, do not support the claim that 
marijuana is addictive. Furthermore, the "symptoms" described in the 
article above are not necessarily those of addiction. For instance, 
"loss of appetite" after the cessation of marijuana consumption notes 
merely the absence of the substance's appetite-stimulating effects.

I would suggest that responsible publications cite names of studies 
and possible links to evidence. This is an old, refuted legend that 
keeps appearing in "studies" that quickly are shown to be lacking in 
evidence and/or scientific method. May I suggest as well that those 
reading the Herald also take a look at a book entitled, Marijuana 
Myths Marijuana Facts: A Review Of The Scientific Evidence (Lynn 
Zimmer, John P. Morgan; Paperback).

This issue is far too important and controversial for people to ignore.

Ray Carlson, Redwood City, CA
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