Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 2010
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2010 The Birmingham News
Author: Gil Joiner


The recent article on teen drug use in Alabama highlights the failure
of our drug policy to reduce teen drug use. As our experience with
tobacco has shown, education works better than putting people in jail.

The News interviewed Carissa Anthony, who blames medical marijuana,
saying "the legalization of marijuana in some states for medical use
may be breaking down psychological barriers and making marijuana
appear less harmful than it is."

How does Anthony explain the lower rate of teen use in these states?
Their laws are making our kids more likely to use marijuana while at
the same time making their kids less likely. This is a silly assertion.

Overall use and teen use are lower in countries that have legalized
(The Netherlands) or fully decriminalized marijuana (Portugal, Spain)
than in the United States.

How harmful does Anthony think marijuana is? The Drug Enforcement
Administration's own administrative law judge concluded marijuana is
"one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man" and
is "safer than many of the foods we commonly eat."

To reduce teen use and overall use, we must educate not

Gil Joiner

Gulf Shores 
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