Popularization of Worse Drugs

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Bill would make pot legal in state

Location: 
Concord, NH
United States
Publication/Source: 
Portsmouth Herald (NH)
URL: 
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/01192007/nhnews-ph-nh-pot.bill.html

Gateway Theory Debunked...Again

A 12 year study from the university of Pittsburgh pokes yet another whole in the wet paper napkin known as the "gateway theory."

From NORML:

Investigators said that environmental factors (e.g., a greater exposure to illegal drugs in their neighborhoods) as well as subjects' "proneness to deviancy" were the two characteristics that most commonly predicted substance abuse.

"This evidence supports what's known as the common liability model ... [which] states [that] the likelihood that someone will transition to the use of illegal drugs is determined not by the preceding use of a particular drug, but instead by the user's individual tendencies and environmental circumstances," investigators stated in a press release. They added, "The emphasis on the drugs themselves, rather than other, more important factors that shape a person's behavior, has been detrimental to drug policy and prevention programs."

No kidding. It's such a perfectly logical conclusion, it's hard to understand why anyone thought otherwise. Especially since one study after another has shown the exact same thing.

It shouldn't take 12 years of research by respected social scientists to tell us that trying one drug can't possibly have the psycho-pharmacological effect of making you want some different drug you've never tried before. Marijuana grows on trees. It's ubiquitous. That's why people try it first.

As for the "environmental factors" that actually are useful in predicting behavior, much thanks is owed to drug prohibition for creating a criminal subculture through which illicit drugs are widely available to young people. As a high school student, I had potential access to a far greater variety of drugs than I do now as professional drug policy reform activist. Alcohol was the one thing you couldn't get easily.

Inevitably, the "gateway theory" will not die a sudden death today. It will live on in the form of anecdotal accounts from marijuana "victims" whose progression into addiction will be taken out of context. It's a shame that so many people who are genuinely concerned about the drug problems facing America's youth nonetheless insist on misunderstanding basic facts about drug use.

Imagine the progress that could be achieved overnight if research such the Pittsburgh study were used to make policy.

Location: 
United States

It's time to legalize marijuana in Illinois (Chicago Sun-Times)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/anderson/132863,CST-EDT-monroe12.article

Police: Deli served marijuana on the side (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/15974835.htm

Missoula OKs initiative relaxing enforcement of marijuana laws (Helena Independent Record, MT)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.helenair.com/articles/2006/11/09/montana/a06110906_02.txt

Nevadans: Say no to pot, raise minimum wage, restrict smoking (Las Vegas Sun)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/2006/nov/08/110810178.html

South Dakotans defeat medical marijuana measure (Pioneer Press, MN)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/15954962.htm

Prescription Painkillers Becoming More Popular Than Marijuana, SAMHSA Says

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
Join Together Online
URL: 
http://www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2006/prescription-painkillers.html

Colorado: Amendment 44 Campaign to Air Television Ad Pointing Out the Potential Harms to Women Posed by Our Alcohol-Only Culture

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release -- Oct. 30, 2006 Amendment 44 Campaign to Air Television Ad Pointing Out the Potential Harms to Women Posed by Our Alcohol-Only Culture Ad addresses staggering number of alcohol-related rapes and acts of domestic violence Contact: Mason Tvert, SAFER campaign director, (720) 255-4340 DENVER -- Starting tomorrow, on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC in the Denver Metro area, the Amendment 44 campaign will be airing a powerful commercial designed to point out the dangers associated with alcohol use and question why we prohibition adults from using the safer alternative, marijuana. The text of this commercial is included at the end of this release, and the commercial can be viewed at -- http://www.youtube.com/v/r7KkPFIEW9Q The domestic violence statistic comes from the U.S. Department of Justice* and the statistic related to college rapes comes from the Harvard School of Public Health. A summary of the Harvard study is available at -- http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/Documents/rapeintox-pressRelease/ [* Note: There was an error during production of the ad, which led to an understating in the ad of the portion of spousal abuse cases that are alcohol-related. Here is the actual data: Two-thirds of victims who suffered violence by an intimate (a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been a factor. Among spouse victims, 3 out of 4 incidents were reported to have involved an offender who had been drinking. Source: U.S. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Crime Victimization Survey 2002.)] "The goal of this campaign is to educate the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol," said SAFER Campaign Director Mason Tvert. "The statistics cited in this commercial are further evidence of this fact. Marijuana use does not increase the likelihood of violent behavior, yet we allow the use of alcohol by adults and punish adults who use marijuana. Giving adults the option of using marijuana instead of alcohol will truly make Colorado safer." ==================== Text of the new Amendment 44 television commercial: Why should adults be able to use marijuana instead of alcohol? Two-thirds of all spousal abuse cases are alcohol-related. And nearly three-quarters of all college rapes occur while a female is intoxicated by alcohol. Think about it... Do we want our daughters growing up in a society where the only legal substance for recreation is alcohol? Not if we love them. Help make Colorado safer. Vote YES on Amendment 44.
Location: 
United States

Maybe They Just Like the Way it Smells

People are getting wasted on cocaine again. Science Blog reports on data from the University of Florida that may suggest a coming epidemic:

Like some drug déjà vu, cocaine use is once again on the rise among students and the rich and famous, a trend University of Florida researchers say likely signals a recurring epidemic of abuse.


"Our data is closest to real time to any data available in the United States," [Dr. Mark] Gold said. "With death reports, there is no fudge factor. The other states will show the same thing: That we are in the early stages of a new cocaine epidemic that is being led by the rich and famous and students with large amounts of disposable income and that is responsible for more emergency room visits and more cocaine-related deaths than we have seen at any time since the last cocaine epidemic."

Oh man, that sounds bad. But Congress will probably think of something. Maybe we’re not being tough enough on cocaine dealers.

And we should warn kids about the dangers of marijuana, which could be causing the cocaine abuse.

Location: 
United States

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