Pubdate: Mon, 27 Nov 2006
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2006 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Michael Cust
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Re: "Marijuana messes up kids' minds" and "Growers booby trap fields 
to keep out 'pot pirates'," The Journal, Nov. 24.

Neither of these articles on marijuana should have made it to print. 
They are both a product, it seems, of drug-war propagandists taking 
advantage of reporters and editors wanting a skeptical and critical 

In the first story, Kathy Szirtes, a specialist in youth addiction 
claims that marijuana is physiologically and psychologically 
addictive for teens.

Before we consider her claims, let us consider her class interest. 
Her job depends on government funding that would dry up if drug 
prohibition ended. It is therefore in her interest to scare the 
public about the harm -- real or not -- of drugs. Drug prohibition is 
underwritten by public fear.

Further, her claims are absurd.

Physiological addiction means that the drug in question can causes 
serious physical withdrawal symptoms for users, similar to heroin or 
tobacco. There have been no peer reviewed studies that I know of 
cataloguing "marijuana withdrawal."

Marijuana is thought to be as addictive as caffeine, even for teens.

Psychological addiction means that users have an overpowering mental 
desire to use the drug in question, a desire that overtakes thoughts 
that reflect better sense. In short, marijuana turns teens into 
zombies. Her claim, then, is a dressed down version of the Reefer 
Madness of the 1930s.

Remember, it is easier to think that drugs and dealers are 
responsible for our teens bad choices.

But the fact remains that addiction is a choice and our youths are 
responsible for their actions.

The second story centres around the claim of Det. Supt. Frank Elbers 
of the Ontario Provincial Police drug enforcement section that 
marijuana gardens are increasingly being found to be booby-trapped.

His class interest is identical to that of Szirtes. Further, criminal 
statistics show that fewer than one per cent of marijuana gardens are 

That any marijuana gardens are booby-trapped at all is explained by 
drug prohibition. Because police don't protect marijuana as property, 
drug dealers form gangs and set booby traps in order to protect their 
holdings. This the same reason why alcohol prohibition led to the mob.

Would The Journal print stories about miracles, psychics, and the paranormal?

Drug-war propaganda isn't that much more scientifically credible.

Michael Cust

- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman