Pubdate: Tue, 06 Jul 2010
Source: Gabriola Sounder (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 David Bouvier
Author: David Bouvier


Dear Editor,

It is an elementary scientific principle that mere correlation does
not ipso facto indicate or even imply causation. You could probably
find a near perfect correlational fit between later drug use and early
childhood ingestion of milk, for example. Few people, however, would
hypothesize that prior milk ingestion subsequently 'caused' the
ingestion of 'harsher' substances.

The problem, as Dr. Bruce Alexander has so ably argued in his
published work, is not addictive substances, but addictive
personalities. (Where is the 'substance' to which the gambling addict
is addicted?) Millions of people ingest marijuana with little or no
harm to themselves and none to others. Ditto alcohol consumption for
social drinkers, though alcohol abuse has of course very severe
consequences for self and others.

If authority figures continue to present misinformation, such as the
notorious 'gateway drug' argument, it is highly likely that young
people will not only discount this, but also wrongly discount other
information that is perfectly valid, e.g. that crystal meth is a very
nasty substance indeed and should be given a wide berth by any
youngster who wants to grow up to be a happy healthy adult. Should
anyone doubt that, I'd be happy to conduct them to my old
neighbourhood around East Hastings in Vancouver where the pathetic
spastic scarecrow victims of crystal meth dance daily on display.

Remember the boy who continually falsely cried 'wolf' and so was
inevitably ignored when el lobo actually showed up and ate his sheep.

~ David Bouvier 
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