Pubdate: Thu, 05 Sep 2002
Source: New Times (CA)
Copyright: 2002 New Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


In a recent article, Elisa Leigan of San Luis Obispo Drug and Alcohol 
Services warns parents that "[t]oday's marijuana is not your marijuana" 
(New Times, Aug. 22).

Both weak and strong marijuana will yield the desired result, only the 
potent marijuana requires significantly less smoke inhalation. It's 
actually less harmful.

Misleading claims are great for scaring parents into supporting 
never-ending drug war, but they can cause teenagers to question the 
credibility of anti-drug messages.

Like any drug, marijuana can be harmful if abused, but that's not the 
point. Teenagers who realize they've been lied to about marijuana often 
make the mistake of assuming that harder drugs like heroin are relatively 
harmless as well.

This is a recipe for disaster. Anti-drug messages must be reality-based or 
they may backfire when teenages are inevitably exposed to drug use among 
their peers.

Robert Sharpe, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, D.C.
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