Pubdate: Mon, 23 Aug 1999
Date: 08/23/1999
Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT)
Author: Jeremy Cranfill

The article titled "Parental Waffling May Boost Teens' Marijuana
Usage" (Tribune, July 27) is intentionally misleading.

The article asks why parents aren't talking to their children about
cannabis use. It goes on to list many inflated survey results that are
quite likely calculated in ways that help the surveyors get their
point across, regardless of the truth.

The article states that "of the 182,000 teens and children who entered
treatment in 1996 for substance abuse, nearly half -- 48 percent --
were admitted for marijuana abuse or addiction." Of course, the
surveyors forgot to tell you that a majority of the people who are in
treatment for marijuana "addiction" were referred by the criminal
justice system, not because they were addicted and needed help but as
a part of their sentence in lieu of jail time.

But the most blatant lie in the article is that "children 12 to 17 who
smoke marijuana are 85 more times likely to use cocaine than those who
do not." This isn't as true as it may seem.

It's easy to lie with statistics. The statement should have read
"children 12 to 17 who use cocaine are 85 times more likely to have
used marijuana than their non-cocaine-using peers."

I would venture to say that 95 percent of motorcycle drivers first
tried riding a bicycle. But does that mean that riding a bicycle is a
sure bet that later on in life you will be a motorcycle driver?


Please check the facts before reporting. Don't just parrot the
prohibitionists' party line.

 Salt Lake City