November 10, 2007

Get Off the Pot

Of course this research does not encourage pot for teens, but does offer a rational and reasonable explanation for problem kids who use substances to cope with their problems. The second article from the Marijuana Policy Project shows there are professional who want to cut a path out of the dark ages of prohibition.
Could Smoking Pot Be Good for Teens?

By Bruce Mirken, AlterNet. Posted November 10, 2007.
…if one follows the logic used by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP, aka the Drug Czar's office), the answer would be, "In some ways, yes."The Swiss study, just published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine was based on a survey of 5,263 students, aged 16-20. Scientists compared teens who smoked both cigarettes and marijuana, those who used only marijuana, and those who abstained from both substances. The results were surprising.
…What the Swiss study does, if policymakers would only listen, is suggest that ONDCP's obsessive focus on stamping out even occasional marijuana use is misguided. The serious public health problem isn't good students who light up an occasional joint with friends on weekends, much as we might prefer they not do so. The real problem is the population of kids, clearly identifiable in the Swiss research, using multiple substances at an early age and having all sorts of problems at school and home. These kids -- more depressed, less likely to finish school and using heavy amounts of marijuana, booze and other drugs -- exist in the United States as well as Switzerland, and they clearly need help that many aren't getting.
American Psychiatric Association Assembly Backs Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Unanimous Vote Signals Growing Acceptance of Medical Marijuana
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a unanimous vote, the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association has approved a strongly worded statement supporting legal protection for patients using medical marijuana with their doctor's recommendation.
…"As physicians, we cannot abide our patients being subject to arrest and jail for using a physician-recommended treatment that clearly relieves suffering for many who are not helped by conventional treatments."
"This unanimous vote shows the growing acceptance of medical marijuana by organized medicine," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "Members of Congress who have opposed efforts to protect patients from federal prosecution have tried to portray medical marijuana as a fringe issue. But the APA Assembly vote, along with other recent endorsements including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, shows that it's those who want to arrest the sick and suffering who are on the fringe."{CFA4CEEF-2C7F-435A-B4EB-33D005D62F1A}&notoc=1

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