Pubdate: Thur, 9 Sept 1999
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 1999, New Haven Register
Author: Mike Gogulski


To the editor:
For several years, the official mouthpieces of American drug policy
have used scare tactics and a curiously selective sort of science to
dissuade voters from supporting medicinal marijuana initiatives. Drug
czar Barry McCaffrey even went so far as to call the 1996 California
initiative "Cheech and Chong medicine," and suggested repeatedly that
allowing adults with serious medical conditions to use marijuana to
ease suffering would amount to giving license to children to use the

Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services released the
annual National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The numbers are in.

Even though medicinal marijuana has been a headline issue since 1996,
marijuana use in America (particularly among young people) has been
decreasing since 1997.In March, the Institute of Medicine's report on
medicinal marijuana, in addition to exonerating the drug of its most
feared qualities, suggested the same tired old policy response to the
marijuana issue that has come out of dozens of studies in the past:
The federal government still needs more studies and more research
before it can come to the same simple conclusion that some 70 percent
of Americans have -- if you believe the polls -- that it's OK to stop
arresting people and putting them in jail for using marijuana for
their ailments.

The report also laid to rest the "gateway" theory that marijuana use
leads to the use and abuse of harder drugs.

How many more studies will it take, America?

Editor's Note: Mike Gogulski Is President Of The Connecticut Cannabis
Policy Forum.

- ---
MAP posted-by: manemez j lovitto