Pubdate: Tue, 07 Feb 2006
Source: Sentinel Review (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
Author: Russell Barth


Re: Troubled by youth's view of marijuana (letter to the editor, Feb. 3).

I applaud anyone's efforts to keep kids away from drugs, but the 
reason kids think pot is cool has more to do with the lies 
perpetuated by the anti-pot establishment than the efforts of 
legalization advocates. Kids know when they are being conned.

Adults have lost all credibility when it comes to all drugs, because 
we have lied and exaggerated the so-called "dangers" of marijuana. We 
tell kids that marijuana will cause cancer, schizophrenia, impotence, 
permanent stupidity and an addiction to hard drugs. When kids find 
the truth on their own (which is just a Google search away), they 
will realize they have been systematically lied to.

They will think; "Adults lied about Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and 
marijuana, so they must be lying about meth, crack, booze, safe-sex 
and safe-driving, too." And who can blame them?

We advertise booze, fast cars, fast food, violent movies and video 
games and drugs of all kinds on TV, then tell kids "say no to drugs." 
We give kids Ritalin, instead of reducing their sugar and Game-Boy 
intake, and then tell kids "pot is dangerous!" They see right though 
this hypocrisy. A ruse by any other name...

Taking the marijuana business out of the hands of kids and criminals 
and putting it into the hands of responsible adults is socially 
conservative. Generating tax revenue from that industry is fiscally 
conservative, and using that money to teach kids why they should 
avoid drugs is morally conservative.

By not legalizing and regulating marijuana production and sales, we 
subsidize criminals, make pot easier for kids to access than either 
tobacco or alcohol, waste valuable police resources and billions of 
dollars annually, ruin lives for no good reason, deprive ourselves of 
a source of valuable medicine and miss out on $3 billion in annual tax revenue.

For those keen on educating kids about drugs without all the 
fear-mongering, hyperbole, and hypocrisy of the standard "drug 
education" programs, I recommend having a look at the Educators For 
Sensible Drug Policy website at

I am a federal medical marijuana licence holder.

Russell Barth

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