Pubdate: Tue, 16 Apr 2002
Source: Cambridge Reporter, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Cambridge Reporter
Author: Robert Sharpe


The April 9 article on Staff Sergeant Ray Massicotte's anti-drug lecture 
claimed that marijuana is more potent these days.

Both weak and strong marijuana will yield the desired result, only the 
potent pot requires significantly less smoke inhalation. It's actually less 
harmful than weak marijuana.

Misleading claims are great for scaring parents into supporting a punitive 
drug war, but they can cause teenagers to question the credibility of 
anti-drug messages.

Like any drug, marijuana can be harmful if abused, but that's not the 
point. Teenagers who realize they are being lied to about marijuana often 
make the mistake of assuming that harder drugs are relatively harmless as well.

This is a recipe for disaster.

As for Massicotte's claim that marijuana is a "gateway" to hard drugs, 
marijuana prohibition is the real gateway.

Marijuana may be relatively benign compared to alcohol - pot has never been 
shown to cause an overdose death - but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, 
consumers will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like cocaine. 
Current drug policy is a gateway policy.

Robert Sharpe

Program officer

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
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