Sunday, August 17, 2008

2008 Marijuana Sourcebook

Feds back gateway theory, say no to medical marijuana.

Attention marijuana users: The President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy thinks it has a pretty good idea of where you live. Last month, the office released its 2008 Marijuana Sourcebook (PDF), which includes the map to the right. (Dark green equals low use, yellow equals moderate use, and red stands for high use.)

Prime marijuana territory, according to the estimates, includes Northern California, upstate New York and New England, Alaska, Northern Florida, Northern Arizona, and Western Montana. Areas showing little interest in pot include Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, and Utah.

The Marijuana Sourcebook also features the controversial gateway hypothesis: “For younger users, the risk of marijuana abuse or dependency exceeds that for alcohol or tobacco. Recent research supports the ‘gateway’ dimension of marijuana — that its use creates greater risk of abuse or dependency on other drugs, such as heroin and cocaine.”

Many addiction researchers consider the gateway hypothesis to be outmoded at best. In a 2006 article in the America Journal of Psychiatry, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School could find no evidence that teenage marijuana use is predictive of drug and alcohol abuse in later life. According to Ralph E. Tarter, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and lead author of the study, “the reverse pattern is just as accurate for predicting who might be at risk for developing a drug dependence disorder.”

The Sourcebook also concludes that “smoked marijuana is not medicine,” and reminds readers that the FDA has not approved the use of cannabis for anything, at any time. The Office of National Drug Control Policy has always held that the medical marijuana movement is nothing but a front for increased drug trafficking. The report puts the case in terms nobody is likely to misconstrue: “The FDA, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, do not support the use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes.”

Even our friendly neighbors to the North come in for a bashing. “Canada is a consumer as well as a producer of marijuana,” the Sourcebook says, claiming that Canadian use has doubled since 1994.

In addition, under the heading, “Marijuana Growers Present Environmental Hazards,” the Sourcebook estimates that one marijuana garden can generate “up to 53 30-gallon garbage bags of trash.”


jackattack said...

pot is harmless and non addicting! It is just used by the government to enslave and rob the public. they take your home,car,freedom and say they are helping you. adolf hitler would have loved the dea.

Nic said...

anonymous, get a clue, pot doesn't lead to schizophrenia, and it's the safest drug out there, far safer than alcohol or tobacco. It's prescribed and used as a medicine, for sick people because is actually beneficial to your health. You seem to have bought the government propaganda hook line and sinker. Too bad some of the public can't be smarter and more informed on drug policy, then maybe we would be wasting billions each year on a pointless war on citizens.

Nic said...

I'm sorry, that word in the last sentence there: would, should actually read "wouldn't"....maybe we WOULDN'T be wasting billions on a pointless drug war.

CassieW@Stonehill said...

As far as marijuana as a gateway drug, I have to disagree. In certain circumstances, this may be the case, but I believe is not typical. As a college student, I would feel comfortable smoking a joint, but I know to stay away from cocaine, etc. It depends on one's mindset about the drugs, and has little to do with the relationship between the drugs themselves. In addition, the statement that marijuana is not a medicine is factually true; the FDA has not approved it. However, CA (along with other states) has seen positive results, considering the drug is still legal for medicinal purposes. Therefore, I support medicinal marijuana.

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