Pubdate: Sun, 6 Jan 2008
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2008 The Birmingham News
Author: Allan Erickson


The Birmingham News is right to report the recent news from the
Monitoring the Future survey about teen drug use. Unfortunately, News
staff writer Dave Parks made the all-too-common error of accepting
without question the statements coming from the government about drugs
and their use and abuse.

Statistics are so easily manipulated. If one takes the government data
and, instead of comparing today's numbers against a year suitable in
portraying the numbers they want us to see, compares the most recent
numbers against 1991, drug use has risen in almost all categories.
Drug use goes through trends. What was popular in 2007 won't be
popular in 2012.

As to the alleged increase in cannabis (marijuana) potency: There has
always been pot with high THC content. Today, because the war on drugs
has achieved the exact opposite of its intended purpose, there is so
much pot available that among that which is seized, there is more high
grade compared to the 1960s and '70s. (Trust me; I was there.)

The government's war on drugs actually places our children in harm's
way more than it protects them.

Allan Erickson

Drug Policy Forum of Oregon

Eugene, Ore.
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