Pubdate: Thu, 08 Mar 2007
Source: Independent  Florida Alligator, The (FL Edu)
Copyright: 2007 Campus Communications, Inc
Author: Heath Wintz


Dan Burrough's observations regarding licit and illicit substances
were articulated very well. The societal burdens created by use and
misuse of alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals far outweigh those
created by marijuana use.

He was also correct to note that the "gateway" theory supported by
public health professionals and echoed by public policymakers has been
disproven time and again.

Interestingly, we've all watched arguments in support of marijuana
prohibition change many times over the decades.

During the 1930s, the message was, "Marijuana causes insanity." In the
past five years, we've seen the Office of National Drug Control Policy
fund public service messages indicating that marijuana use supports
terrorism, causes hit-and-run automobile accidents and leads to
teenage pregnancy.

A recent ad targeted toward parents concluded: "Marijuana: It's more
harmful than we all thought." The latest ad, however, backtracked and
indicated that use of marijuana would not make one insane, criminal or
pregnant, but that "nothing" would happen. Users will supposedly waste
their lives in their parents' basements playing video games while life
outside passes them by.

One need not look far to find hypocrisy in federal government,
particularly in the case of marijuana policy. But it is interesting to
see other members of the D.A.R.E. generation begin to question the
foundation upon which prohibition stands. 

Heath Wintz
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