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I strongly suspect that the very 'first' drug these 'teenagers' tried was 'alcohol'.


Another Senate 'dog and pony' show... no disrespect meant toward the dog or the pony!


US AL: Edu: Column: Sessions Should Re-Think Marijuana Policy

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URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n024/a07.html

Newshawk: Herb

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Tue, 11 Jan 2011

Source: Kaleidoscope (U of Alabama at Birmingham, Edu)

Copyright: 2011 The Kaleidoscope

Contact: http://www.uab.edu/kscope/submit.php?mode=letter

Website: http://www.uab.edu/kscope/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1879

Author: Ron Crumpton

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal)




Anyone who has ever read my column knows that I am an avid supporter of medical marijuana. Recently, I sent letters to several of our elected officials concerning Alabama Compassionate Care and the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act, which would make marijuana legal in Alabama for medicinal purposes. Thus far, Senator Jeff Sessions was the only one to reply.


"While I understand the arguments that you and others have made in support of legalizing marijuana, I am still concerned that the legalization of the drug, or decriminalizing its use, would encourage today's youth to turn to more deadly substances such as heroin and cocaine," Senator Sessions said in his reply. "At a hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, we listened to four teenagers, each of whom is recovering from heroin addiction. I was struck by the fact that the first drug each had used was marijuana. I believe our policies should deter people from using these substances, not encourage or endorse them."


Senator Sessions, it is time to get some new material.


First of all, let us just get this out in the open: teenagers are going to smoke marijuana whether it is legal or not.


Second, it does not surprise me that the first drug they tried was marijuana. I do not know if he includes alcohol or cigarettes as drugs, but I would find it odd if all four had tried marijuana before alcohol.


However, the Senator made no mention of how they progressed from one to the other. Did these four teenagers suddenly develop an uncontrollable urge to do heroin after smoking marijuana? If studies are correct, this is not the case.


In today's age of information, it is not hard to find a study on the internet that says what you want to hear, but report after report - including at least two sanctioned by the federal government - shows that it is not smoking marijuana, but acquiring marijuana that puts teenagers at risk of moving on to more dangerous and addictive substances.


The only true "gateway" between marijuana and hard drugs is drug dealers.


There are many pot dealers out there who do not sell to kids, who are just trying to make ends meet or help a brother out. Then there are drug dealers who use marijuana as a tool to get teens in the door and then try to get them addicted to harder drugs because they know that once addicted to heroin or meth, a teenager will lie, cheat, steal and recruit new users just to get a fix.


That is your gateway between marijuana and hard drug use. Do not get me wrong, I am not advocating selling marijuana to minors, but if they obtained marijuana through the same avenues that they obtain beer - stealing it from their parents or getting an older brother, sister or friend to buy it for them - they would not be put in the position of being pressured by drug dealers.


Third, let us tighten the discussion to the original topic: medical marijuana.


According to most studies, the second most abused drug by teenagers is prescription narcotics that they steal from their parents, grandparents and friends. Percocet, Valium, and many other medications fall into this category. An effective marijuana regiment can replace many of these drugs.


Therefore, if marijuana reduces the number of these narcotics available to children, it is all the better. Every one of these medications has deaths attributed to them every year, but the consumption of marijuana has never been proven to be a cause of death.


If my child is going to steal my medication, I would much rather they steal my marijuana than my Percocet because I know the consumption itself will not kill them.


Mr. Sessions, the people of this state need a senator with the vision to see the truth and serve the citizens of Alabama. We do not need someone who spouts the same party rhetoric that led Ronald Regan to proclaim, "I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast."

MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom



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