Pubdate: Thu, 11 Aug 2016
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Copyright: 2016, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Dennis Myers


After we reported that federal and Colorado state figures conflict 
with a claim that Colorado teen use of marijuana has "gone up since 
legalization" ("Pot tale of the week," RN&R, July 28), prohibitionist 
Genoa lawyer Jim Hartman sent us a link to a report issued by the 
"Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area" (RMHIDTA).

We were aware of the report. It does indeed indicate that teen 
marijuana use in Colorado is higher than the national average. What 
it neglects to include in that statistic is the fact that its numbers 
nevertheless still show a level of teen use in the state that is 
lower than it was before legalization. In other words, teen use has 
gone down since marijuana became legal.

That's the business RMHIDTA is in-spin. It does not generate its own 
research. Rather, it uses-and often misuses-research by other 
organizations such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the 
Quinnipiac University survey, and the Substance Abuse and Mental 
Health Services Administration.

RMHIDTA is not a research entity. It is a propaganda entity-a 
federally funded prohibitionist organization. Forbes Magazine writer 
Jacob Sullum described it this way after a distortion of a Quinnipiac 
survey that showed increased public support in Colorado for legal 
marijuana: "Honest drug warriors would acknowledge the Quinnipiac 
numbers and perhaps try to balance them with other poll results. 
Dishonest drug warriors would do what the Rocky Mountain High 
Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) does in its new report on 
marijuana legalization: change the numbers."

In fact, it is illegal under federal law for RMHIDTA to provide 
even-handed information on marijuana. Title VII of the Office of 
National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 prohibits 
RMHIDTA funding from being used for "any study or contract relating 
to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use)" of 
marijuana. Little wonder prohibitionists use it.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom