Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jan 2014
Source: Herald News, The (Fall River, MA)
Copyright: 2014 The Herald News
Author: Steven S. Epstein


I share with Stephen Gray Wallace the goal of "keeping young people 
safe, alive and in pursuit of the positive youth outcomes they seek." 
However, I question his understanding of the latest "Monitoring the 
Future" data concerning adolescent marijuana use reflected in his 
recent guest opinion.

Actually, the latest Monitoring the Future data admittedly reveals no 
statistically significant change over the recent past. Teen use 
remains well below the data point established in 1979.

This "sky is falling" worldview blames recent law reforms for an 
increase in teen use that does not exist. It ignores the Northwestern 
study author's conclusion that more study is needed to determine 
"whether cannabis use contributes to these observed shape differences 
or whether they are biomarkers of a vulnerability to the effects of 
cannabis that predate its misuse."

Two things gall me about fear-mongering essays such as Stephen Gray 
Wallace's. First is that they ignore the fundamental principles of 
our constitutions necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, 
and to maintain a free government. Two, they refuse to consider that 
replacing prohibition with a law that allows only adults to engage in 
the cultivation, commerce and consumption of marijuana and punishes 
distribution to minors with significant jail time and/or fine and 
requires adults take steps to prevent access to growing plants and 
marijuana by children, would better accomplish our shared goal

Steven S. Epstein


Attorney Steven S. Epstein of Georgetown is a founder of the 
Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition and has written many letters
and columns lauding liberty and cannabis.
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