Pubdate: Sun, 16 Feb 2014
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2014 The Dallas Morning News, Inc.
Author: Jerry Epstein
Page: 3P


Mark Davis would get agreement from the world's experts on the fact
that marijuana is not harmless. Combining 15 different scales, the
Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs ranked it the 8th most
dangerous drug in The Lancet in 2010. They also ranked alcohol as the
most dangerous drug by a wide margin over second-place heroin.

I have studied volumes of often obscure drug data from our government
closely for 20 years. Most of the claims by Davis are not supported by
the facts. It's difficult to imagine any significant increase in use
when extensive surveys by Monitoring the Future, funded by the
National Institutes of Health since 1975, report that 79 percent of
those now aged 50 have tried marijuana and that marijuana has been
"universally available" to teens for 40 years.

When NIH sought the advice of the National Academy of Sciences, their
1982 report urged us to study ending marijuana prohibition because of
the many benefits, particularly since prohibition increased the risks
to teens.

If Davis would like to discuss risks and benefits on his radio
program, I am available.

Jerry Epstein, Houston, president, Drug Policy Forum of Texas
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