Pubdate: Sun, 10 Oct 2004
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2004 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Russell Barth
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor.
Bookmark: (Youth)


I suspect one of the main reasons that pot is now more popular among
teens than tobacco and alcohol is that dealers don't ask for ID. Teens
can buy pot, usually from other teens, in playgrounds and schoolyards.
The same was true of alcohol during the era of prohibition. Once
alcohol prohibition was repealed and regulation was implemented, the
problems were reduced. If kids still get their hands on alcohol and
tobacco, it is the fault of adults, not kids.

Another reason is kids know they have been lied to about pot. They are
told that pot will rot their brain and cause cancer and schizophrenia,
but the science to support those claims is just not there. Then they
see a handful of people being issued licences to possess cannabis for
epilepsy and chronic pain, and they realize the truth that cannabis is
not the "dangerous narcotic" that adults say it is, but is, in fact, a
"medicinal herb."

The further danger of our current policy of lying to kids about pot is
that kids think they are probably being lied to about every other
drug. They don't believe us when we actually do tell them the truth
about crack, heroin, and crystal meth. Our policy of lying to kids
about marijuana is endangering them, especially in an unregulated
system where your neighborhood pot dealer is probably able to provide
them with a wide assortment of substances.

The way to reduce pot use among kids is to legalize and regulate it.
Then they will need a valid ID, just like alcohol and tobacco.

Russell Barth,


(Until adults agree on the "truth" about pot, the mixed messages will
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MAP posted-by: Derek