- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 15, 2001

I chuckled when I read the letter to the editor “Drug laws create youth drug market” (April 1). My goodness. That letter surely had some statements that defied logic, research and history. It is interesting that the author works for a foundation considered by many to be one of the biggest promoters of drug legalization.

Just as there is a tobacco lobby that has misrepresented the hazards of tobacco cigarettes, there is a well-funded marijuana lobby working to place marijuana cigarettes on store shelves. Everyone knows that smoking is hazardous to one´s health and that marijuana contains more carcinogens than tobacco.

The use of marijuana goes up as the perception of harm goes down. Although the majority of the American people, medical doctors, researchers and lawmakers agree that marijuana should not be legalized, children pay close attention to the arguments of the legalizers. Many young people believe marijuana is harmless. It is not. It is a dangerous psychoactive weed with more than 450 different chemicals that can cause a myriad of physical and emotional problems.

Weeds are not “medicine.” People must quit confusing marijuana with its active ingredient, THC. Don´t be fooled by the simplistic arguments of drug legalizers, who tend not to let facts get in their way.

It doesn´t take a rocket scientist to know that any policy making drugs more readily available will lead to increased drug use and increased tragedy and violence. Easing legal restrictions on marijuana could put millions of children at risk.


JOAN BELLM

Founder, Illinois Drug Education Alliance

Founder, Drug Watch International (www.drugwatch.org)

Editor, Drug Watch World News

Carlinsville, Ill.


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