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News (Media Awareness Project) - US NE: PUB LTE: Alcohol Is The Real Danger
Title:US NE: PUB LTE: Alcohol Is The Real Danger
Published On:2012-01-22
Source:Lincoln Journal Star (NE)
Fetched On:2012-01-24 06:01:10

It's not often a letter like Susie Dugan's gets published ("Don't
legalize marijuana," Dec. 29). Space constraints make a line-by-line
refutation of her letter impractical, but she makes three
particularly egregious claims that warrant correction.

First off, states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes
have not seen increases in use among youths, but in fact have seen
significant reductions, according to a number of studies referenced
in an American Academy of Pediatrics publication.

Secondly, states that have legalized medical marijuana have actually
seen a reduction in the number of traffic fatalities, a study from
university researchers published in November shows.

Finally, a 20-year study recently published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association reports marijuana is less hazardous than
tobacco, and concludes: "Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use
was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function."

The truth is that all the claims Dugan makes about marijuana in fact
apply to alcohol and tobacco, two drugs that not are only legal, but
culturally sacrosanct. Dugan decries how our youths are bombarded
with propaganda, but she must be joking given what is really being
marketed. This Bud's for you, Susie.

Alcohol is the most dangerous drug our youths face and is the true
gateway drug through its disinhibiting effects. Every day of the week
you can find sobering evidence in this paper of the social carnage
associated with alcohol. While it is important to encourage our
youths to avoid any drug use, it is unacceptable to lie to them as a
means to that end. We must be honest with our children as they depend
on us for leadership and factual information.

Thomas Samuels,

a Nebraskan temporarily living in Bozeman, Mont.
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