Pubdate: Thu, 18 Apr 2002
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Copyright: 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Author: Pam Lichty


Deroy Murdock's "Another View" column in the April 12 Star-Bulletin was
aptly headlined "Marijuana -- a gateway drug to politics." New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is only the latest politician to acknowledge that he
smoked marijuana. Unlike most, he didn't add that he regretted it or that it
was a "youthful indiscretion." 

Many prominent baby boomers smoked cannabis and their very achievements give
the lie to the "gateway" theory that smoking marijuana invariably leads to
harder drugs. This theory, advanced by prominent anti-drug spokesmen like
Joseph Califano, lacks logic. While it's likely true that most cocaine and
heroin users have used cannabis, they also have used tobacco, alcohol and,
yes, milk. Trying these other substances does not cause someone to move on
to harder drugs. In fact, 85 percent of those who smoke marijuana have never
used another illegal substance.

Murdock is right when he deplores the time and money spent to arrest pot

The recent Drug Enforcement Agency busts in California of clubs supplying
marijuana to sick people are the latest outrage. How can Attorney General
John Ashcroft authorize such actions in states where the electorate supports
medical use of marijuana when our nation is supposedly on high alert against

Pamela G. Lichty, Vice President, Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i
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