Pubdate: Thu, 06 Feb 2003
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Hacker Press Ltd.
Author: Clifford Schaffer


Editor, The News:

If Eric Myrholm means to suggest that there are studies on both sides of the
issue of whether the marijuana laws should be changed, he is mistaken (`Two
sides to pot story: Here's mine,' Opinion, Jan. 23).

I spent several years collecting the major government studies of drug policy
from around the world, and I put the full text of nearly all of them on the
Internet at, under Major Studies of
Drugs and Drug Policy.

The collection includes the largest studies ever done by the governments of
the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia, just to mention a few.

During the course of this work, I asked everyone I could find - including
every U.S. drug czar - if they could name any major studies that support
the current laws.

No one has come up with any yet. If Mr. Myrholm knows of any, I will be
interested to hear about it, but I won't hold my breath waiting for him to
come up with one.

If Mr. Myrholm actually cares to read these studies he will find they all
reached a similar conclusion - the marijuana laws were the product of
racism, ignorance and nonsense, and should have been repealed long ago
because they do more harm than good. If he cares to read the other materials
in the online library he will also find the origins of the "gateway theory."

Marijuana was originally outlawed at the state level in the U.S. for two
major reasons.

The first was that "All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them

The second was the belief that heroin addiction would lead to the use of
marijuana - just exactly the opposite of the modern gateway theory.

When marijuana was outlawed at the national level in 1937, Harry Anslinger,
then head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, was asked if there was any
connection between marijuana and harder drugs, like heroin. He testified
emphatically that there was no connection at all, and the drugs were used by
two entirely different groups of people.

In 1944, the La Guardia Committee Report confirmed his statement. In 1951,
the story changed. Anslinger was up before Congress asking for more money to
enforce the marijuana laws.

Unfortunately for him, the head of the U.S. Federal Addiction Research
Program testified just before him and stated that they knew for sure that
all of the reasons that had been given to outlaw marijuana in 1937 were
completely wrong.

Anslinger was left with no justification for his call for more money and
agents. In response, he made up the idea that marijuana leads to heroin.

In doing so, he contradicted all of the known research at the time, as well
as his own testimony from 14 years earlier.

There was no evidence for the theory then, and the only evidence that exists
today would earn you a failing grade in any college logic class.

Like I said, if Mr. Myrholm knows of any major studies that would contradict
these points, I would love to hear about it. But he doesn't, so it isn't
much use asking.
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MAP posted-by: Josh