Latest Drug War Lie: Debating Medical Marijuana Causes More Kids to Smoke Pot

New data on youth drug use was released today and, as we've come to expect, the drug warriors would rather lie about it than learn from it. Instead of focusing on the fact that more high school seniors are smoking marijuana than cigarettes (proving what a perfect failure our marijuana laws truly are), the drug czar and his minions tried to claim that debating drug policies causes more young people to do drugs:

The increase of teens smoking pot is partly because the national debate over medical use of marijuana can make the drug's use seem safer to teenagers, researchers said. In addition to marijuana, fewer teens also view prescription drugs and Ecstasy as dangerous, which often means more could use those drugs in the future, said White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske.

The "continued erosion in youth attitudes and behavior toward substance abuse should give pause to all parents and policy-makers," Kerlikowske said. [AP]

Wait, what was that about the medical marijuana debate causing an increase in teen pot-smoking? According to The Associated Press, that's what the "researchers said," but the only reference to medical marijuana in the whole study tells a more interesting story:

Marijuana use began to decline in 1997 among 8th graders and then did the same in 1998 among 10th and 12th graders. The rate of decline was rather modest, however, perhaps due in part to effects of the public debates over medical use of marijuana during that period.

So they never said marijuana use "increased" because of the medical marijuana debate. Not even close. All they did was speculate that a decrease -- which took place 12 years ago – would "perhaps" have been steeper if it weren't for the debate over medical marijuana. I'll give you one guess where I'm about to go with this…

Teen marijuana use declined following the emergence of a national debate over medical marijuana. That's what actually happened and the suggestion that such declines would have been greater if it weren't for marijuana activism is about as logical as arguing that Sgt. Pepper would have been an even better record if The Beatles weren't on acid.

Rates of high school marijuana use had been climbing rapidly until 1996, when California voters legalized medical marijuana, after which point they declined for 10 years straight. Now I'm not saying that the debate over medical marijuana caused a reduction in teen marijuana use, but even if I did, it would still make a lot more sense than what we read yesterday from The Associated Press.

Of course, I completely understand that journalists can’t possibly read and digest a 700+ page report. That's understandable, as is some reliance on press releases when piecing a story together. But if you're getting all your information from the drug czar, you should be awfully careful not to get taken advantage of. A really good sign that you've been completely worked over is if you end up reporting that the legalization debate causes kids to do drugs.
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treyhaltom's picture

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil.

Like the three little monkies, that's the only resourse they have left. The truth won't work, because, prohibition was founded upon lies and propaganda. It has always been bolstered by huge budgets and grants for media matters and exploitation of diverse genres and demographic considerations.

An advertisement designed to educate certain people, such as the younger generation; about the dangers of marijuana addiction, would dwell on the social ills brought about by this addiction. It also would take quite a bit of imagination to depict all this in a matter of seconds or maybe even a minute or two. An advertising agency can fill in the blanks as they undertake the challenge, and produce the video and film.

As a matter of principal, the idea to "see no evil", is the primary reason these laws have caused the elimination of one of America's finest natural resources; industrial grade hemp. This has been outlawed simply because it resembles it's much smaller, but still horticultural cousin, Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica, in appearance only.

Countless billions of dollars worth of this natural, renewable and sustainable resource has been squandered. Industrial Hemp has been suppressed by companies that benefit from eliminating their primary competition. These goods could be used in many products including pulp fibers and oils. All for the betterment of the ecomnomy, and for the health and prosperity of the nation. We have been deceived by the conspirators that brought us prohibition against marijuana!

Our government began lying to us about the time they passed legislation providing for the prohibition against marijuana. This law was born of a criminal conspiracy between certain politicians and corporate entities, purely for the economic benefits they could reap by eliminating their respective industries only true and viable competition, hemp.

Randolph Hurst and the DuPont board of directors were co-conspirators in this plot, which has ultimately led to this global conflict and international effort to prosecute the "War on Drugs". Combatants gave taken sides, and the violence is escalating at a phenomenal pace. Bloodshed is every where, we are not immune to these consequences', so don't blame me for this being about marijuana. I would be against this whole thing even if it was oregano they were lying to us about.

Peace :)_

Trey Haltom

Medical Marijuana Policy Project

When I was a kid, I asked

When I was a kid, I asked tough questions.

As soon as I found out about factory farms, the first question I asked is why are we praying to God for giving us a dead animal which was enslaved for its entire life? "God did not make chicken in his image."

When I discovered gay people, I asked why can't gay people marry. "Sodom and Gomorrah."

When I found out marijuana was non-toxic, I asked why marijuana is illegal when drugs like aspirin that I had been warned not to take are sold over the counter. "When in Rome..."

After deciding to be an atheist, everything made complete sense. Vegetarianism was easy as no longer was I superior. Prohibition seemed ridiculous considering that this isn't ancient Rome and there ain't no danged Emperor.

Not that there isn't an equally valid Christian viewpoint, I just couldn't find it myself.

When I was diagnosed with

When I was diagnosed with ADHD, they put me on amphetamines. Ritalin in particular. This quickly evolved into crushing and snorting the pills for a rush, then to selling them to buy even stronger amphetamines. I'd have been much better off if I'd been given marijuana, and in my case, it would have had it's intended effect.

Have you ever seen a hyperactive kid after snorting Ritalin? It's not pretty.

"Don't mention the war!"

Ah yes, the old "Don't mention the war!" argument. LOL!

Non-stop drug war!

Why is it that everyone is crazy about this legalization of marijuana? It just creates more conflicts and adds another fire to this never ending drug war? Why not make it legal just like other drugs that are sold over the counter? In the end, it always depends on the person taking the drugs to be responsible in taking correct doses.


yesterdays news : legislation introduced to legalize marijuana

actually there are several , "truth in trials" , being put forth

so todays news " children + marijuana"
its unfortunate that people still hold on to draconian fears ,

Like the movie "the usual suspects" Kaiser sosak

everyone was afraid of a non existent demonoid!

recently a good buddy of mine went through chemo , he was living with his girlfriend who is a social worker , he got really sick ,withering away
He could not get cannabis not ,because its was not available , but the social workers face would turn pale white at the mention of "marijuana".

I am talking deep rooted inner fears fed by racist lies , 70 years later!

so my point , there are certain people , law enforcement ,judges and all those federal workers who are terrified by a plant. right out of "little shop of horrors"

and they cannot accept what the mainstream here in CAlI have accepted.
MJ is alive and well!

luckily my buddy got well enough to come to CALI and get some MJ
he wont stop eating!

I wonder if a person could get a doctors rec for PTSD "fear of being incarcerated over a plant"

I wonder how many people in CAlI did not have to foreclose on the mortgage because of this "plant"

Oh 1 more thing "the gateway bullshit" , every drug addict I know clean or using ,started with tobacco , alcohol
with the internet reaching billions of people the information is out the lie is dead
does anyone agree that cannabis is better than V ia gra ?

johnny 1

The National Debate has been Raging for 40+ Years

Gil Kerlikowske’s claim of “continued erosion in youth attitudes and behavior toward substance abuse” is not erosion.

Youth attitudes and behavior about drugs is the constructive end product of a self-educating skepticism that bypasses the propaganda mills of the state.  In that sense, Kerlikowske fails to mention that the United States’ reefer madness approach to its debate about illicit drugs fails to stem drug use when compared to the more moderate, reality-based approach of the Dutch model.

What the survey really suggests is that despite the best efforts of the ONDCP, people of all types are correctly assessing the alleged dangers of drugs on a drug by drug basis, instead of lumping all illicit drugs together into one big evil heap as the government propagandists would prefer them to do.

Gil Kerlikowske may be the new drug czar, but as Senator Al Franken (D-MN) noted during a separate debate, that doesn’t entitle him or anyone else to their own set of facts.


Old Grassley

Old Senator Charles Grassley R-Iowa would Applaud this censorshit. Grassley is a old timer prohibitionist.

In Washington,Oregon, and California

Kids are being taken off ritalin and other prescribed meth and being issued medical cannabis permits. The results are better health,better grades and detoxification because the plethora of toxic pharmaceutical pills are no longer needed. Kids(and adults) with diabetes are finding that cannabis along with sensible nutrition(the medical cannabis clinics all promote organic healthy food and exercise) are actually being cured. One of our long time friends was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five years ago. His conventional doctor told him he had three years to live(pancreatic cancer has taken several of our family who were told by conventional doctors they had three years left & not to take cannabis),so he turned to medical cannabis and was instructed to give up fast food, go organic health food and guess what? Within 2 and a half years this hard working man was and still is cancer free. His conventional doctor said it was a miracle. Our friend told his conventional doctor that medical cannabis,health food,and hard work cured him. The conventional doctor said that is great but they both should keep that quiet because hospital administration and the pharmaceutical marketers would most likely tattle to the d.e.a. and lawsuits would be filed against them both. A story both sad and very happy but true. Apparently it has been known for over a thousand years that cannabis,proper nutrition and exercise are effective cures for most health problems. That being said, the federal government and the drug corporations that own them are some seriously cruel tyrants to ever have started prohibition in the first place. Thank you and good luck.

Pot the scapegoat

Parents blame pot for the fact that their own kids hate them.Well hate may be too strong a word. No, war and violence are the real crimes, every child knows this.

It's always about the

It's always about the children children children. Ban cannabis because only kids use it? Ban violent video games because only kids play them? It's ironic that most people who support these things claim that they are conservatives who believe in the virtues of personal responsibility. I thought conservatives were supposed to be against the nanny state who treated EVERYONE like they were little children?!

"neocons" not conservatives!

You sound like you are talking about Ron Paul conservatives! We are all tired of the nanny state. I have even bigger reasons to hate it! The big government has outgrown our ability to control it as a society. They just do what they want and make laws to keep themselves "legal". As you show in your statement, the "conservatives" have adopted rules that are completely foreign to their original dogma! Liberty and freedom? Where does that fit in with their agenda?

Let's Not Fail To Mention

That the corner dealer doesn't ask for a patient ID card nor driver's license. He only wants to see green. That's the regime our government wants our kids to have. They sure as H**L can't stop it. Control, regulate and tax it. It's the only way for you to stop worrying about "the children" who already have ample access to illicit drugs you've probably never even heard of.

Cannabis has no medicinal value?

Patent number 6,630,507 states unequivocally that cannabinoids are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including auto-immune disorders, stroke, trauma, Parkinson's, Alzeheimer's and HIV dementia. The patent, awarded in 2003, is based on research done by the National Institute of Health, and is assigned to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.

another thing they don't say . . .

Supposedly teens are smoking more because of a decrease in the "percieved danger" of marijuana, but nowhere do they explain exactly what the "dangers" are.


Edward Bernays has a lot to answer for. Sure governments and other 'leaders' knew how to spin before this, but his book 'proganda' spelt it out clearly in step by step instructions. Propaganda in an ironic twist soon changed names to Public Relations.

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