Cannabis News Stop the Drug War!
  Caution: Marijuana May Not Be Lesser Evil
Posted by CN Staff on February 05, 2007 at 19:09:08 PT
By Rita Rubin, USA Today 
Source: USA Today  

cannabis USA -- Tyreol Gardner first smoked marijuana when he was 13. "The main reason I tried it was curiosity," Gardner recalls. "I wanted to see what it felt like."

He liked what it felt like, and by age 15, he was smoking pot every week. He supported his habit with the money his parents gave him for getting straight A's on his report card. They didn't have a clue.

"By 16, when I got my license, it turned into a fairly everyday thing," says Gardner, now 24. "I believe it is very addictive, especially for people with addictive personalities."

Millions of baby boomers might disagree. After all, they smoked marijuana — the country's most popular illicit drug — in their youth and quit with little effort.

But studies have shown that when regular pot smokers quit, they do experience withdrawal symptoms, a characteristic used to predict addictiveness. Most users of more addictive drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, started with marijuana, scientists say, and the earlier they started, the greater their risk of becoming addicted.

Many studies have documented a link between smoking marijuana and the later use of "harder" drugs such as heroin and cocaine, but that doesn't necessarily mean marijuana causes addiction to harder drugs.

"Is marijuana a gateway drug? That question has been debated since the time I was in college in the 1960s and is still being debated today," says Harvard University psychiatrist Harrison Pope, director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at Boston's McLean Hospital. "There's just no way scientifically to end that argument one way or the other."

That's because it's impossible to separate marijuana from the environment in which it is smoked, short of randomly assigning people to either smoke pot or abstain — a trial that would be grossly unethical to conduct.

"I would bet you that people who start smoking marijuana earlier are more likely to get into using other drugs," Pope says. Perhaps people who are predisposed to using a variety of drugs start smoking marijuana earlier than others do, he says.

Snipped:

Complete Article: http://tinyurl.com/24mln8

Source: USA Today (US)
Author: Rita Rubin, USA Today
Published: February 5, 2007
Copyright: 2007 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/

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Comment #18 posted by Hope on February 07, 2007 at 07:12:30 PT
Dang! Dang! Dang!
I'm not even going to try to correct all that.

But you can rest assured that Pope is a prohibitionist "scientist"...big time.

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Comment #17 posted by Hope on February 07, 2007 at 07:10:09 PT
Oops..."intangled", should read "entangl
Yes....this Doctor Harrison Pope is very entangled in the money side of NIDA and the ONDCP and Drug Free America.

Entangled...big time.

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Comment #16 posted by Hope on February 07, 2007 at 07:10:08 PT
Oops..."intangled", should read "entangl
Yes....this Doctor Harrison Pope is very entangled in the money side of NIDA and the ONDCP and Drug Free America.

Entangled...big time.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #15 posted by Hope on February 07, 2007 at 07:06:47 PT
USA Today
had to know these were people the government sent. They had to.

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Comment #14 posted by Hope on February 07, 2007 at 07:04:43 PT
John Tyler,
I bet you're right.

And this might have something to do with it, too.

http://focus.hms.harvard.edu/1997/Nov14_1997/bulletin.html

"A MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse has been granted to Harrison Pope Jr., associate professor of psychiatry at McLean Hospital. The award extends until 2004 a four-year, $1 million award originally granted to Pope in 1996 to study the cognitive consequences of long-term marijuana use. Pope will now receive an additional $1 million from NIDA without having to submit another grant application under the normal competitive renewal process."

A PDF that I can't figure out how to copy and paste from http://www.drugabuse.gov/PDF/MJProgressRep04.pdf has Volkow, NIDA, ONDCP, Drug Free America and Harrison Pope all together and names their grant and studies and report under the title, "A Progress Report on Marijuana Research and Dissemination Efforts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse".

Yes....this Doctor Harrison Pope is very intangled in the money side of NIDA and the ONDCP and Drug Free America.

Who would of thought?

I got 83 results by Googling "Harrison-Pope grant NIDA".

Hmmmm. Very interesting, indeed.

Funny that the article itself says nothing about all this being funded by NIDA, the ONDCP, or Drug Free America. Wonder why they didn't mention that Pope was a researcher working with government grants and "guidance".

Sounds like a deal to me...make that a Deal. "Pope will now receive an additional $1 million from NIDA without having to submit another grant application under the normal competitive renewal process."



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Comment #13 posted by John Tyler on February 06, 2007 at 22:12:06 PT
prohibitionists' fear
Have you noticed that every reason for continued cannabis prohibition has been refuted with facts and logic, but yet the spew of lies continues as this article demonstrates? Could it be that their opposition is something else that even they cannot articulate because it resides in their unconscious mind. For some reason the prohibitionist’s unconsciously fear if prohibition is repealed that everybody will let their hair grow out, they will wear tie died t-shirts, they will go to work in natural food stores, or work for a clean environment, or help the disadvantaged, or open up the feared and dreaded “head shop” in every town and scrounge up forty year old VW minibuses to drive, and talk about peace, love and understanding, or in a word become hippies. Dear prohibitionists allay your fears. This is not going to happen. It’s a different time and place. People are not going to "tune in, turn on and drop out". Old VW minibuses will not return. Everyone will still work within the system in every occupation group. They will buy houses and cars and lots of other stuff and send their kids to college just like everybody else. Everything will be OK. Don’t worry. Drop you opposition to personal freedom and lets reconcile as we move forward.

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Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 06, 2007 at 16:36:31 PT
This article
What they are claiming has been disproved.

What is true, is that people get killed, terrorized, have their lives, their careers, their future, and their families destroyed and torn apart, because of prohibition.

They are killers whining about someone who wants to use cannabis.

Cannabis is a plant. It and it's use are not "evil".

Being a killer or supporting killers because you don't like people consuming cannabis...or anything...other than other people...is definitely EVIL.

A killer is really bad...a killer who kills other people and claims it's a good thing and plans to keep it up...is even worse.

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Comment #11 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 06, 2007 at 15:08:42 PT
I Tried Several Drugs As A Teen,
Just to see what all the fuss was about.

If they legalized and regulated marijuana today, I would probably not partake as much. Since the government thinks it can abridge my right to do what I want with my own body, I will consume and promote cannabis until the law changes. I'm sure the roughly 20 million regular marijuana consumers in America feel the same.

As we lobby to fire politicians, the day of change quickly approaches.

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Comment #10 posted by Truth on February 06, 2007 at 13:39:13 PT
B. S.
Sorry for the language but I gotta call bull shit for what it is, bull shit.

" Most users of more addictive drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, started with marijuana, scientists say, and the earlier they started, the greater their risk of becoming addicted."

Scientists say this? Really? STARTED with marijuana? Didn't most of those folks start with either alcohol or cigarettes? I know of no one who smokes marijuana that didn't drink alcohol first.

Most scientist aren't that stupid, apparently the author is.

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Comment #9 posted by rchandar on February 06, 2007 at 11:24:42 PT:

IQ Testing
I think that almost all of those tests are bogus. They have a basic construction: if the answers indicate you are both happy with the world as it is and you think along the lines of stereotypical, secular moral "values," then you're smarter. Or that if you endorse the secular principles of the government then you're sane. Psychiatric questionnaires are also pretty useless: who in their life has never considered suicide? Who doesn't get depressed or feel that life has no meaning? We live in a heterogeneous, diverse world filled with media prompts and barrages of images that drive us nuts, but to admit we feel bad some times is scooped up as evidence of one's dysfunction by the institutions.

I don't take much faith from the study. The article does, however, make a reasonable point: if you have to buy pot from criminals, it will give the criminals the opportunity to sell their other wares.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 06, 2007 at 10:20:58 PT
Related Article from All Headline News
New Study Reveals Marijuana Is Addictive And Users Who Quit Experience Withdrawal

***

By Richelle Putnam - All Headline News Staff Writer

February 6, 2007

Blacksburg, VA (AHN) - Recent studies have concluded that when users quit smoking pot, they do experience withdrawal systems. In addition, those who abuse harder drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, admitted to using marijuana first. Risk of addiction relates to how early in life the user starts.

Marijuana, a mixture of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, can be smoked as a cigarette or in a pipe. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is its main active chemical.

Bob Stephens, a Virginia Tech psychologist and editor of the book "Cannabis Dependence," conducted treatment studies of marijuana addiction, and was quoted in a USA Today article as saying, "There's never any shortage of people who meet this definition."

A study called "Monitoring the Future," performed by the University of Michigan, revealed that adolescent use of marijuana in the U.S. decreased from 2005 to 2006. However, in the past 15 years, marijuana use has become more common. This is according to the same "Monitoring the Future" study, which followed a group of eighth graders into adulthood. USA Today stated that a survey among eighth-graders revealed an increase from 6.2% in 1991 to 11.7% in 2006 regarding marijuana use. 31.5% of the surveyed 12th graders admitted to marijuana use in the past year compared to 23.9% in 1991.

Harrison Pope, director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at Boston's McLean Hospital, who studied heavy marijuana users for fourteen years, found that those who smoked pot once a day scored lower on their verbal IQ testing.

Research on chronic marijuana smokers and alcoholics performed in 2006 by psychiatry professor, Ronald Kadden, who has run the Health Center's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center for over ten years, showed that marijuana was more addictive that originally thought.

However, past studies claimed that marijuana is still the lesser evil of the very much legal drug, alcohol. In a 1999 Summit Daily article, the U. S. Department of Transportation 1990-91 study revealed that the adverse effect on drivers is "relatively small" to the adverse effects of those under the influence of alcohol and some prescribed drugs.

A 2004 study performed by Alyssa J. Myers and Marion O. Petty of the Department of Psychology at Missouri Western State University, researched the connection of alcohol use to marijuana use. The study revealed that, "the more alcohol someone drinks, the more likely they will be to want to smoke marijuana. We also found that 100% of the people who reported marijuana use were also drinkers. The first drug used by the majority of people who smoke marijuana was alcohol, 67%."

The report also stated that marijuana, a "gateway" drug, is considered worse than alcohol, because it supposedly prods users to try harder drugs. However, the study stresses the use of marijuana typically comes after alcohol and tobacco use and most people don't realize that alcohol is the "gateway" drug to the "gateway" marijuana drug.

Copyright: All Headline News

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006377083

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by schmeff on February 06, 2007 at 09:59:19 PT
A Greater Evil? Really?
This young cannabis addict "fueled his habit" by money he earned from getting straight A's. Must not have messed up ol' Tyreol too bad.

Do you think the esteemed Harvard high muckety-muck Harrison Pope might be a tad biased when he suggests that the only way to 'scientifically' settle the question of whether cannabis is a gateway substance would be to randomly assign people to either smoke pot or abstain. And that this would be not just unethical, but "grossly" unethical.

Meanwhile, as you read this, tens of thousands of folks in our fair country are participating in "controlled studies" - funded by Big Pharma - where they are randomly assigned to administer or abstain from (aka 'placebo') any number of substances with verifiably more dangerous/poisonous side-effects than cannabis. This process is basically how pharmaceutical research on humans is conducted.

For Harrison Pope to claim that administering a non-toxic herb in the context of a controlled scientific study is grossly unethical, he reveals that in spite of his Harvard degree, he is a doofus of the highest order.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by zandor on February 06, 2007 at 08:16:42 PT
Guess the White house is paying for stories again.
This is obviously a paid for story. I wonder how much money they paid the reporter to take credit for a story written by the White House?

This is just another propaganda piece put out by the White House and paid for with our Tax dollars.

I thought this was illegal?

But then again most of what King George is doing is illegal and that does not stop him either.

It's going to be harder then I thought to just hang on until this jack off is out of office.

Together we can make it and beat them with the TRUTH and good science. Remember Bush & Chaney say Global warming is not real but a "Chicken Little theory" and science once again proves them wrong and now they are listening.

True they are def & dumb.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by Celaya on February 06, 2007 at 07:47:26 PT
Posted at USA Today Wine Blog
Since they didn't have a place for comments on this article, I posted the following at the USA Today Wine blog. ( http://blogs.usatoday.com/cheers/ ) It probably won't get included.

----------------------------------

I hope you'll pardon me posting here, but since there was no where else to comment on the USA Today article, "Caution: Marijuana may not be lesser evil," (Feb 6) this seemed like the best place.

The article was devoted to promoting the gateway and addiction myths about marijuana. The gateway myth has been disproven by every reputable study - including all U.S. government studies, the last one being the 1999 Institute of Medicine Report, commissioned by the Drug Czar's office themselves.

The addiction myth also trotted out, made a big deal of some dubious efforts to establish withdrawal symptoms with marijuana. Scientists have discovered some minute effects that are so ephemeral, most people don't even notice them. Obviously, a withdrawal symptom that is so slight, it's not noticed is not a factor creating addiction.

Throughout this whole piece of propaganda, the "problem" cases were ALL people who were multiple drug users, which is NOT the common experience for marijuana consumers. Clearly, these people's problems came from the problematic drugs they were using and NOT marijuana.

One such case was actually laughable. USA relates:

"Rachel Kinsey says drug addiction runs in her mother's family, although not in her immediate family. Kinsey, 24, started drinking alcohol at 14 and smoking marijuana at 15 — "definitely a predecessor for everything else I used.""

She started drinking at 14 and smoking pot at 15, but it was the marijuana that was the "predecessor?" This confused thinking wouldn't pass an 8th grade English class.

In attempts to bolster the propping up of these myths, other ludicrous tidbits are thrown in such as this one:

"Research shows marijuana users are significantly less satisfied with the quality of their lives than non-users, a revelation "as telling as any very fancy story of molecules," Volkow says."

Less satisfied with their lives? Not quite bedrock research there. And, of course, they make no allowances for the fact these consumers live in a society that demonizes them for making the choice to consume marijuana - and, if they are unlucky enough to be one of the 800,000 people arrested EVERY YEAR for marijuana, they are saddled with a "criminal" record for life, which marginalizes them from employment, and other vital areas of life. No wonder they feel less satisfied!

The truth is, marijuana is far safer and less destructive (zero marijuana deaths in all of history) than alcohol, which clearly IS addictive. It is not just the height of hypocrisy to promulgate this prohibitionist propaganda, but is an intellectual slap in the face to readers of USA Today who see alcohol celebrated in the same pages - as in this blog on wine and in other places.

It is this dishonesty about marijuana that is the real "gateway." When youth discover all the lies they've been told about marijuana, they think all the warnings about the hard drugs must be lies too. The costs of marijuana prohibition and it's propaganda devastate millions of young lives each year.

The people are waking up to the monstrous fraud of marijuana prohibition. It's time for the politicians and the "journalists" to catch up.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by teaehchsea on February 06, 2007 at 06:10:44 PT
Cannabis is the gateway
... to a better life. The US government has embarked America into a sea of madness fraught with danger. Cannabis will correct the course and enter into a sea of bliss.

A sea change is coming. Call it 'global warming.'



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by gloovins on February 06, 2007 at 04:12:30 PT
the gate way drug ...for alcohol, I hear ..
is breast milk...

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 05, 2007 at 20:45:39 PT
So what, Is coffee a gateway drug?
OverwhelmSam first drank coffe when he was 5. "The main reason I tried it was curiosity," OverwhelmSam recalls. "I wanted to see what it felt like."

He liked what it felt like, and by age 15, he was drinking coffee every week. He supported his habit with the money his parents gave him for getting straight A's on his report card. They didn't have a clue.

"By 16, when I got my license, it turned into a fairly everyday thing," says OverwhelmSam, now 48. "I believe it is very addictive, especially for people with addictive personalities."

Millions of baby boomers might disagree. After all, they drank coffee — the country's most popular licit drug — in their youth and quit with little effort.

But studies have shown that when regular coffee drinkers quit, they do experience withdrawal symptoms, a characteristic used to predict addictiveness. Most users of more addictive drugs, such as nicotine or alcohol, started with coffee, scientists say, and the earlier they started, the greater their risk of becoming addicted.

Many studies have documented a link between drinking coffee and the later use of "harder" drugs such as alcohol and nicotine, but that doesn't necessarily mean coffee causes addiction to harder drugs.

Maybe, Perhaps, I'll Bet... prohibitionists speculations.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by ekim on February 05, 2007 at 19:25:32 PT
view from elsewhere
My LTE just sent:

To the Editor,

As a retired police officer from Bath Township (NE of Lansing), I would urge the citizens of Flint to vote for the medical marijuana initiative on Feb. 27. (Feb. 5: Pot Vote Mostly Symbolic)

Mr. Buchanan should know that in 11 states that have legalized medicinal use of marijuana, use amongst teens has NOT increased. The Flint police have enough to do without wasting time on sick people. We are a Thin Blue Line.

PS. Unless Mr. Buchanan is working toward the prohibition of alcohol and tobacco, he is condoning the use of two deadliest drugs in America.

Bath Township Officer Howard J. Wooldridge, retired Frederick, MD

Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired) Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc) Washington, DC Hablo espanol, je parle francais, Deutsch auch Howard J. Wooldridge 1402 W. 7th Street Frederick, MD 21702 301-695-1739 817-975-1110 (cell) wooldridge@leap.cc The mission of LEAP is to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition. No man in the wrong can stand up against a man in the right that keeps on a coming. McDonald, Capt. Texas Rangers

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