Pubdate: Thu, 14 Oct 2010
Source: Times Record (ME)
Copyright: 2010 Times Record Inc., ASC Inc
Author: Anders Froehlich


Despite Melissa Fochesato's claims, there is no evidence whatsoever
that allowing dispensaries results in increased marijuana use by
teens. ("Sagadahoc teens like pot better than butts; Study results
alarm local substance abuse counselors," Oct. 4).

It's been less than a year since Maine voters decided to allow
dispensaries, so there is still no data that would allow one to draw
such a conclusion.

However, in California, marijuana dispensaries have been legal for six
years, during which time teen marijuana use has declined slightly (in
line with national trends).

Moreover, statistics from the Maine Office of Substance Abuse show a
statewide decline in the percentage of teens having used marijuana in
the previous month, from 15.6 percent in 2000 to 12.7 percent in 2008,
despite Maine having voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1999.

If teens are indeed getting a "message" from medical marijuana laws,
it evidently is not convincing them to smoke more pot. People should
quit claiming otherwise.

Anders Froehlich, San Rafael, Calif.
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