Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jan 2007
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette (MI)
Copyright: 2007 Kalamazoo Gazette
Author: Redford Givens


The stereotypical reasons Zak Kusz offers in his Jan. 9 letter for
keeping marijuana illegal are worn-out, reefer-madness lies. The
notion that marijuana is a "gateway" drug has been refuted by every
peer-reviewed scientific study since 1950.

Science has rejected notions that marijuana leads to drug addiction.
The prestigious Institute Of Medicine (IOM) 1997 study on medical
marijuana demolished the gateway theory with this devastating statement:

"Whereas the stepping-stone hypothesis presumes a predominantly
physiological component to drug progression, the gateway theory is a
social theory. The latter does not suggest that the pharmacological
qualities of marijuana make it a risk factor for progression to other
drug use. Instead it is the legal status of marijuana that makes it a
gateway drug."

If people really want to curtail hard drug use, they should
immediately legalize marijuana to close this path to dangerous drug

Fears that legal marijuana will produce an epidemic of addiction are
rebutted by the experience in the Netherlands where they have legal
marijuana and a much lower teen marijuana-use rate and an addiction
rate lower than the U.S.

Redford Givens

San Francisco, Calif.
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