Pubdate: Fri, 21 Mar 2008
Source: Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (Lockport, NY)
Copyright: 2008 Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Author: Bruce Mirken


Bill Wolcott uses one auto accident in which the driver may have been
under the influence of marijuana as "proof" that marijuana use is not
a victimless crime. ("Marijuana use seen as a minor character flaw":
3/16) Does he think we should reinstate Prohibition because a small
percentage of alcohol consumers foolishly drink and drive? In fact,
Prohibition actually increased the rate of needless death and crime
associated with alcohol by pushing the entire liquor market into the
criminal underground.

Wolcott repeats several other myths about marijuana. More recent
research has debunked claims that marijuana use causes increased rates
of head and neck cancers, and indeed has shown marijuana's active
ingredients to be relatively potent anti-cancer drugs. And the
Institute of Medicine noted in its White House-commissioned review
that damage to the immune system by marijuana is "not well
established" and may not exist at all -- a finding verified by more
recent clinical trials in HIV/AIDS patients.

As a number of recent scientific reviews have found, marijuana is
without doubt safer than legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol: It's
less addictive, much much less toxic, and orders of magnitude less
likely than alcohol to induce violence or aggression.

Bruce Mirken, director of communications

Marijuana Policy Project