Wed, April 08

Letter: Curious on cannabis? Consider this


A recent letter concerning "marijuana" inspired me to offer a counterpoint on Cannabis. Even the name 'marijuana' has a bit of history that many may not know. That slang name was given to cannabis in the early days of prohibition in hopes that it would play on people's fear of foreign sounding things. Not the last time that method has been used either.

Onto the facts. An anecdotal visit to a detention facility does not equal factual data and drawing hard and fast conclusions from that is simply not good practice.

Almost 20 years ago the NAS/IM (National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine) concluded that "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other drugs,".

A similar report from the RAND Corporation concluded that "While the gateway theory has enjoyed popular acceptance, scientists have always had their doubts. Our study shows that these doubts are justified.".

So, for over 20 years we have had these studies that prohibitionists and anti-cannabis groups simply ignore and keep telling the same falsehoods over and over, to the point that folks simply believe it must be true.

The real gateway as studies have shown, is alcohol. In January of this year a study out of Texas A&M University concludes "Alcohol was the most widely used substance among respondents, initiated earliest, and also the first substance most commonly used in the progression of substance use."

Incidentally the campaign ~against~ adult recreational use has been handsomely donated to ($10,000.00) by none other than the alcohol industry.

Next up we have tobacco, a French study published in the journal of 'Addictive Behaviours' determined that people are 4 times more likely to progress from tobacco to cannabis and not the other way around.

In fact, of those that tried cannabis after tobacco fewer that 4 percent ever went on to try another drug.

That is what reactions should be based upon: facts, not emotions or anecdotal experiences.

Jesse Dowling


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