Pubdate: Fri, 13 Aug 2004
Source: North Shore Sunday (Beverly, MA)
Copyright: 2004 Community Newspapers Inc.
Author: Kim Hanna
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (McCaffrey, Barry)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I'm afraid Essex County District  Attorney Jonathan Blodgett has not done 
his homework on the "gateway theory" for  marijuana ("Waiting to inhale," 
Sunday, August 8). Former  Drug Czar General McCaffrey engaged America's 
top medical experts at the  Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study the 
"gateway theory" for marijuana and they  determined that that the "stepping 
stone" "gateway theory" is invalid. Your readers may study the IOM report 
online by searching the Internet. Besides,  marijuana activists want 
marijuana decriminalized and regulated because it  reduces the availability 
of marijuana on the streets for young people to  purchase.

A  regulated market for marijuana (like alcohol) makes it harder for young 
people  to get marijuana because black-market street sales will be taken 
over by government approved and regulated outlets; putting street drug 
sellers out of  business.

Right now,  young people say it is easier to get the unregulated marijuana 
than it is to get  the regulated alcohol. Alcohol sellers won't sell to 
kids (knowingly), but  marijuana street sellers don't check a teens 
identification or age when they  sell them marijuana.

A  regulated marijuana market would change that and protect our teens.
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