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Sep-08-2011 19:09printcomments

Drug Czar Sends Mixed Messages on Marijuana Policy

Statements in latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health release contradictory, ignore available data.

Big pharma's federal agents at work.
Big pharma's federal agents at work.

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - In a press conference this morning, representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the release of the latest results of the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health. As is their custom, the federal officials used the event -- and the survey itself -- as an opportunity to decry the use of marijuana in the United States.

“What we saw today was just more of the same stale old rhetoric and exaggerations about marijuana use. The analysis SAMHSA included with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health seeks to blame what they claim is a significant increase in teen marijuana use on relaxed perceptions of harm, caused by the ongoing discussion of marijuana reform, particularly medical marijuana.

They do not quantitatively support these claims, however, and we can see from this latest report that past-month marijuana use by 12-17 year olds has stayed the same for males and only increased by .1% in the past year for females,” said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “In addition, this report and other available data clearly show that in a majority of medical marijuana states, teen use rates actually decreased since the implementation of their medical marijuana programs.”

“On the other hand,” Fox continued, “we were encouraged by ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske’s acknowledgement today that we cannot arrest our way out of our nation’s drug problem. But if that is the case, we must ask how he can justify the billions of dollars spent every year to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate marijuana users, when that money could be better spent on proven harm reduction tools such as those highlighted by the Recovery Month program.”

SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde, when questioned as to why alcohol use rates had dropped so much more than other drugs, stated that a more comprehensive program of education and early intervention had been employed to combat alcohol abuse and that such programs had not been embraced for other drug use. Moments later, Marijuana Policy Project director of government relations Steve Fox asked Mr. Kerlikowske if such a program of regulation and education would be better than the current system of prohibition for marijuana. Director Kerlikowske replied that regulation of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs has not worked, so regulation of marijuana could not be expected to work either.

“Such contradictory statements from the people in charge of our national drug policies only go to show that our government officials are addicted to prohibition, do not think states are capable of determining their own drug policies, and are incapable of even correctly analyzing their own data,” said Morgan Fox.

For more information on teen marijuana use in medical marijuana states, please see the Marijuana Policy Project’s Teen Use Report, available at

Source: Marijuana Policy Project.

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malcolm kyle September 10, 2011 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

An open letter to Gil Kerlikowske Occasionally, some unfortunate people end up with a job that make other people dislike or even hate them. It’s no fun and can be very stressful. It’s really hard to go and do something that you know is doing nothing but harm seven days a week and it can become quite depressing, dangerous even. It may also lead to you not only feeling guilty as hell but also very insecure at the thought of all those angry citizens that have generally become cheesed off at the thought of all the mayhem you've caused to their lives. What should you do? Easy; humbly hang your head in abject shame, and come clean. Admit you have unwittingly become part and parcel of one of the most horrific and counter-productive government policies in the history of mankind, and then hope you'll get to keep your pathetic shrunken testicles.

Karin Rougeau September 8, 2011 7:38 pm (Pacific time)

One wonders how long the 'War on Drugs" fiasco can continue.

Since the US .gov is one of the biggest Drug Dealers in the World, via the CIA, for their covert operations and to fund said operations, when will the American public finally say, Enough is Enough with this?

Marijuana is far from dangerous or addictive. The Govt. allows tobacco companies to add horrid chemical additives to cigarettes with no FDA or EPA sanctions should allow. Harming us ( I am a 47 yr. smoker) when regular, non additive cigarettes would be much less , if not totally not harmful. The debate about this is still out there in the so called , Phama owned, Medical Community.

I am an older person, going on 65 years of age. I have never had an accident, back in my youth using marijuana, but I did have two very bad car accidents while drinking and driving.

I feel fortunate that I only hurt myself and no one else in said accidents.

I also, did not hurt anyone else, but myself, if then, smoking marijuana back in the 70's.

I have found that it works wonders for my nerve pain, however, it is illegal for me to get where I live. Must I got out to the 'street market' for helpful medication?

I was on Big Pharma "pain meds" for 6 years, they helped little and I got addicted. I went off them 'cold turkey' and I thought I would not get through it, but I did.. and now try to deal with it daily, and as I age it gets worse and worse.

This regulation is to suit the PTB and not the people. IMHO
Medical Marijuana is a Wonderful Help to those in pain, especially neurological pain, and it also helps with getting decent rest. It should be  legalized for Medical use  on a Nation Wide basis, state by state, and not via Big Pharma or the Federal Govt.
I might add that if a person is old enough to drink, fight in unfounded wars and possibly die, they should be old enough to choose marijuana as well.

Alcohol sure has killed a lot more people  than Marijuana ever has.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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