Letters to the Editor 6/2/03

June 02, 2003

Pot phobia distorts truth about its medical properties

To the editor:

According to Joe McGeeney, ("Ehrlich signs controversial medical marijuana bill," May 22) "It's sending the wrong message to our kids that it's OK to use because there is medicinal powers. Other states that have approved (similar bills) have seen a sharp increase in the youth smoking marijuana."

McGeeney must be unaware that 47 percent of Maryland's 12th graders admit to having experimented with marijuana. Californians have enjoyed almost a 10 percent reduction - down to 34 percent - of teen use since 1996, when California legalized medical marijuana. Clearly, kids choose to abuse "drugs" more often than they abuse "medicines."

Furthermore, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians; American Bar Association; American Public Health Association; American Society of Addiction Medicine; AIDS Action Council; British Medical Association; California Academy of Family Physicians; California Legislative Council for Older Americans; California Medical Association; California Nurses Association; California Pharmacists Association; California Society of Addiction Medicine; California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; Colorado Nurses Association; Consumer Reports Magazine; Kaiser Permanente; Lymphoma Foundation of America; Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network; National Association of Attorneys General; National Association of People with AIDS; National Nurses Society on Addictions; New Mexico Nurses Association; New York State Nurses Association; New England Journal of Medicine; and Virginia Nurses Association have all endorsed medical access to marijuana. Have they just been "misled on the actual science" too?


The first time kids learn that these "dangers" of marijuana are exaggerated at best, they will mistrust the source of this misinformation. "Pot equals terrorism" ads, in-between beer and pharmaceutical ads, is a truly dangerous mixed message to send. Yet we wasted more than 4 million of our tax dollars to do just that.

We need to stop inventing dangers by criminalizing an act that hurts no one, but helps many. The best we can do for our children is to give them honesty and the common sense to make healthy choices in a challenging world. The rest is up to them, just as it was up to us when we were younger.

Erin Hildebrandt


Don't spare the rod when you're talking about schoolchildren

To the editor:

Thank you, Mr. Principal. I've read about the trouble they've been having lately at the high schools. Students taking swings at teachers and so forth. My goodness, you've got to have a policeman there to keep order. I feel the problem lies in the fact that you can't discipline kids anymore. Give discipline back to the teachers and let the policemen go back to the streets to do more good.

When I was in junior high school at Washington Street, I was probably going to be a punk. I was just heading into that direction. Then one day I witnessed this eighth grader punch our principal. Well, he slammed the boy against the lockers and gave him two months' detention. He didn't get thrown out of school. Our principal took care of it.

Well that scared the heck out of me; I changed from that day on and never got into trouble and graduated in 1973. Taking a kid's cell phone or TV away doesn't do squat. Remember the verse in the Bible, "Spare the rod and spoil the child." If a kid needs a whipping, whip 'em. I'll guarantee they will be better suited for society. So thanks again, Mr. Principal.

R. Guessford


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