Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jun 2005
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2005 Globe Newspaper Company
Author:  Robert J.  Inlow


While Cathy Young does a good job pointing out the inconsistencies in US
drug policies, some additional facts may further illuminate the degree of
congressional hypocrisy (''The medical pot hysteria," op ed, June 13).
Two legal substances -- nicotine and alcohol -- are far more insidious and
destructive than marijuana while having no therapeutic value.

In the Jan. 19 Journal of the American Medical Association, tobacco
was cited as the cause of 435,000 deaths in 2000 (the latest year for
which data are available), while alcohol was responsible for 85,000.
On the other hand, there are no credible reports of fatalities induced
by marijuana.

So why is marijuana demonized when its effects are so benign compared
with nicotine and alcohol?

Two reasons: Tobacco and alcohol companies have well-oiled  marketing
machines and well-funded, influential lobbyists on Capitol Hill. It's
not time to criminalize cigarettes and beer; it is, however, time to
decriminalize marijuana.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin