Pubdate: Wed, 05 Mar 2003
Source: Springfield News-Leader (MO)
Copyright: 2003 The Springfield News-Leader
Author: Carl Smith


Alcohol, prescription drugs, household cleaning products, spray paint, 
over-the-counter cough medicine -- what do these products have in common? 
If you don't know, you should ask your kids.

These substances have become the drugs of choice for kids because they're 
cheap, readily available in almost every home, and kids are willing to 
ignore the fact they can overdose and die using them every bit as easy as 
with cocaine or heroin, even the first time. They know none of these will 
show up if they're drug tested at school or work -- and they won't go to 
jail if they're caught.

Not by coincidence this is the 65th anniversary of a war against what the 
Bush administration calls a "greater danger to the United States than 
heroin, cocaine or amphetamines," a plant designed and created by God on 
the second day, cannabis sativa, also called marijuana.

Cannabis has a recorded history of use that dates back for thousands of 
years, even during the times of Moses and Jesus. Its role in medicine and 
agriculture was undisputed and unequaled until the 20th century. The same 
plant that substantially benefited mankind for millennia suddenly became 
characterized as the drug that was destroying peoples' lives. The story 
hasn't changed nor the problem remedied despite billions spent trying and 
over 700,000 arrests for cannabis last year alone.

After 6,000 years of use we're still told we don't know enough about 
cannabis, but there are some things we do know: There has never been a 
documented death directly related to cannabis use. Not from overdose, 
allergic reaction, drug interaction, cancer or any other disease.

This isn't what we hear from the government down to the D.A.R.E. officers, 
who disseminate the hyperbole that cannabis is "no different from other 
illegal drugs" and "all drugs kill."

The plant God created is filling our prisons, (where drugs are readily 
available), not the cemeteries, but advertisements for the legal chemicals 
that kill thousands of kids, including Cale Gormley, are filling the 
airwaves. What kind of message is that sending the kids?

Carl Smith, Ozark
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