Pubdate: Sat, 6 Feb 1999
Source: Herald, The (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Daily Herald Co.
Author: Darral Good, Lynnwwod
Note:  Darral is Information Officer for the Washington Hemp Education
          Network (W.H.E.N.)


The other day a 14-year-old Port Angeles girl died after drinking
large quantities of vodka (Northwest Briefly, Herald Jan. 20).

She was one of three girls of the same age who were reported to have
died that day. (I heard a radio news report about two others back east
somewhere.) Last March, a 17-year-old girl in Auburn died of acute
alcohol poisoning.  Her mother found her comatose in her bedroom.

In June 1997, a 14-year-old Anacortes girl drank herself to death. 
This is only a short list of news stories that I found online.  I'm
quite certain there were many more acute alcohol poisonings involving
young people that-didn't make the paper.

Yet in over 8,000 years, no teen-ager has ever died from an overdose
of marijuana. Teenagers should not use drugs - legal or -otherwise. 
But they often do.  The fact is that our society gives our teens
extremely mixed messages about drugs. (Attention parents: Alcohol is a
drug!) Just listen to what a conservative, Ronald Reagan appointed
judge has to say about this.  Richard Posner, Chief Justice of the 7th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said:

"I am skeptical that a society that is so tolerant of alcohol and
cigarettes should come down so hard on marijuana use and send people
to prison for life without parole.  We should not repeal all the drug
laws overnight, but we should begin with marijuana and see whether the
sky falls."

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