Newsbrief: Drug Czar Declares War on Summer 6/13/03

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Summer is a threat to the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov) quixotic crusade against marijuana, drug czar John Walters announced Tuesday. "Many parents don't know that new teen marijuana use spikes in the summer," Walters said as he rolled out his latest anti-marijuana campaign, "School's Out: Don't Let Your Teen's Summer Go to Pot."

Nearly 5,800 teens will try marijuana for the first time each day this summer, Walters warned, citing statistics from last year's National Household Survey on Drug Abuse that found nearly 25% of all first-time teen pot use occurs in June and July and nearly 40% during the four-month period from May to August.

The summer anti-marijuana campaign finds the drug czar teaming with the YMCA, the American Camping Association, and the multi-mall-owning Mills Corporation in a less than completely altruistic effort to keep kids at the gym, at camp, or at the mall and away from the evil weed this summer. The campaign will distribute anti-marijuana propaganda at malls and theaters across the country in coming weeks.

While Walters' summer threat is hyped -- the numbers suggest marginally greater first-time use at best during summer -- it carries an unspoken corollary: Some months must have lower rates of first-time teen use. We await with anticipation the November unveiling of Walters' "Let's Just Chill Out and Relax About Pot For Awhile" campaign. Or perhaps a seasonally-based, color-coded marijuana warning level system similar to the one used in that other war against an abstract entity. Summer could be Code Orange, rising to Code Red each weekend, while winter could be Code Green -- no, wait, oh... never mind.

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Issue #291, 6/13/03 Editorial: The Rule of Law | Global Social Forum Meeting in Cartagena to Draw Broad Spectrum of Global Activists for Colombia Focus -- DRCNet Will Be There | Anatomy of a Victory: How Reformers Rolled Back Souder and the Drug Czar | Ontario Marijuana Laws in the Twilight Zone | Jacksonville Hemp Fest Marred by Police Violence, Warrant Issued for Organizer for Obstructing (In)Justice | Drug Reform and the Democratic Presidential Nominating Process | Sad Day in the Medical Marijuana Movement: Medical Marijuana Patient and Activist Cheryl Miller Passes Away at 57 | DRCNet Urgently Needs Your Donations -- Sullum Book Offer Still Going | This Week in History | Newsbrief: European Union Presidency Calls for Frank Discussion of Drug Laws | Newsbrief: Demonstrations Mark Thailand Drug War Killings | Newsbrief: Oregon Medical Marijuana Provider Gets Prison Time | Newsbrief: Drug Czar Declares War on Summer | Newsbrief: Supreme Courts Again Says No to Cincinnati Drug Zone Ban Law | The Reformer's Calendar
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