Pubdate: Tue, 26 Jun 2012
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2012 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Kevin A. Sabet


Re: "Legal pot shops do not boost teen drug use, Colorado study 
says," June 19 news story.

The "study" referred to in your article is anything but - it is a 
paper that has not been peer-reviewed. And that is no wonder.

The paper suffers from serious methodological errors, including the 
fact that the researchers did not take into account the actual 
implementation of medical marijuana laws. For example, California did 
not have "dispensaries" until 2003, seven years after the law was enacted.

Another state, Rhode Island, had about 1,500 people in the entire 
program, so it's not a revelation that the state would not see any 
significant effect on teens. Furthermore, the study ignores the 
explosion of dispensaries, in Colorado and elsewhere, after 2009. 
Finally, the study contradicts peer-reviewed research, published in 
journals like Drug and Alcohol Dependence, which have shown increases 
in use resulting from medical marijuana.

This is not so surprising given that the movement behind medical 
marijuana derives from advocates of full legalization. It's time to 
get the legalization lobby out of the business of medical marijuana 
and instead focus our attention on the science examining the 
development of non-smoked marijuana-based medications for the truly 
ill. That would make this issue no longer the sick joke that it is today.

Kevin A. Sabet, Cambridge, Mass.

The writer is chief of the University of Florida's Drug Policy Institute.
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