- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 26, 2015

Russia’s Health Ministry weighed in on the marijuana legalization taking root in Washington, D.C., saying it won’t be long before the entire city’s addicted to the high.

Under the new law that took effect Thursday, D.C. residents over the age of 21 will be allowed to smoke pot in their homes without fear of arrest or prosecution — a law that shouldn’t be mimicked, said Yengeny Bryun, the ministry’s chief drugs specialist.

“When the authorities take their cue from the sinister interests of the population, what happens is everyone becomes a drug addict,” Mr. Bryun said, Interfax news agency first reported.

“The path from marijuana use does not always lead to hard drugs in 100 percent of the cases,” he said, the Moscow Times reported. “But there is a pattern. The use of marijuana is a gateway to more serious drug addiction, and people who have genetic and inherent risk factors will definitely become drug addicts.”

Viktor Ivanov, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said drugs would never be legalized in Russia.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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