Pubdate: Sun, 15 Aug 2004
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 2004 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Author: Jim White
Cited: Schaffer Drug Library


I don't mind ignorant columnists, I read them everyday, I don't mind
people who haven't read anything on a subject spewing propaganda like
good little citizens sending the approved government messages. But
when Dan O'Neill tells us we need to get real about what we tolerate,
he himself needs to get real with his knowledge.

O'Neill's admitted personal experience reflects on him, not on the
drugs he used. Potent marijuana has been available since mankind first
used it 5,000 years ago, O'Neill just had a bad supplier. Hence his
assertion that today's grass is stronger than what he smoked in the
'60's is simply wrong. Remember tia-sticks?

O'Neill suggested that football player Ricky Williams should be
responsible for sending O'Neill's impressionable kids the right
message, even if it is based on outright lies and misinformation. Hey,
O'Neill, the effects of marijuana on the sexual organs of teens is a
lie, they aren't telling anymore, don't you read?

If O'Neill really wants to help kids stay off drugs, he can start by
being honest and truthful. Then you can regulate drugs rather than
continue to allow criminals to sell them to kids. We can stop
arresting adults and hounding football players about some recreational
pot smoking and concentrate our efforts on educating the young. We can
medicalize hard drugs and coax addicts off the streets and into treatment.

My teacher told me that smoking marijuana would cause me to grow
breasts. It didn't. I never believed another thing adults said about
drugs. Little white lies about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy hurt no
one, but lies about super pot and other drugs that kill in a single
whiff harm children beyond belief, because they no longer believe.

O'Neill is right in that we should read as much as we can. That way we
can get a real understanding of the subject. I suggest a trip to the
Schaffer Drug Library, which contains a copy of nearly every major
study of drugs and drug policy from governments around the world. The
address is

As for Ricky Williams, he has a right to stand up for what he believes
in. Pot didn't turn him, let alone 20 million other adults, into a
writhing addict. Absolute fact-based truth is the way to deal with
drugs. Anything else is fruitless and has been for four decades.

Jim White,

Oregon, Ohio 
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