Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 2004
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2004, The Tribune Co.
Note: Limit LTEs to 150 words
Author: Bruce Mirken


Regarding "Parents Are Still The Best Antidrug" (Our Opinion, Feb. 22):

Parents should talk honestly with their teenagers about drugs. The key word 
here is "honestly," and sadly, the White House ad campaign referred to in 
your editorial distorts and exaggerates the dangers of marijuana.

"Smoking pot can affect the brain," the ad warns darkly. So can drinking 
coffee or Coca- Cola, both of which contain a central nervous system 
stimulant - caffeine. And, the evidence shows little or no long-term harm 
to the brain from smoking marijuana. You would never know that from these ads.

There are good reasons for kids not to smoke marijuana. But kids see right 
through exaggerated scare tactics and, as a result, may disregard warnings 
about much more dangerous substances, such as speed or cocaine. Truth is 
the real antidrug.

BRUCE MIRKEN, Washington, D.C.

The writer is director of communications with the Marijuana Policy Project. 
Web site:
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