Pubdate: Wed, 19 May 2004
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2004 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Paul Armentano


Concerns about marijuana's potential health risks require context and 

Marijuana is not a harmless substance; no drug is. However, marijuana's 
relative risks to the user -- most of which may be mitigated by consuming 
cannabis in ways other than smoking -- does not support criminal 
prohibition or the continued arrest of approximately 700,000 Americans on 
marijuana charges every year.

According to federal statistics, approximately 80 million Americans 
self-identify as having used marijuana at some point in their lives, and 
relatively few acknowledge having suffered significant deleterious health 
effects due to their use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, 
not deny it.

Paul Armentano

Washington, D.C.

Senior Policy Analyst, NORML 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake