Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2006
Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
Copyright: 2006 The Providence Journal Company
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project (


I'd like to thank the Drug Enforcement Administration's Karen Tandy 
for illustrating the federal government's almost pathological 
dishonesty about marijuana ("War on marijuana does indeed save 
teens," letter, May 18). Virtually everything she wrote is 
incomplete, out of context, or plain false. Tandy pulls out the old 
canard about supposedly higher levels of carcinogens in marijuana 
smoke than in tobacco smoke. She fails to mention that repeated 
studies, often financed by the government, have consistently found 
that -- unlike tobacco -- marijuana smoking does not increase the 
risk of lung cancer. Indeed, marijuana's active components have 
well-documented anti-cancer effects.

As for the Netherlands, here's the truth: After three decades of 
regulated marijuana sales to adults, marijuana use rates in the 
Netherlands are at least a third lower than in the United States, for 
both teens and adults. And use of hard drugs, such as cocaine and 
heroin, is three times higher in the United States than in the 
Netherlands. Why? Because the Dutch have taken marijuana out of the 
criminal market and broken the "gateway" between marijuana and hard drugs.

It really is time for our government to stop lying about this issue.

The writer is director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.
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