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Adopt Different Strategy To Combat Pot Use


420 Staff
It was a surprise to read there is "no way scientifically" to settle the question of whether marijuana is a "gateway drug" that causes hard-drug addiction.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine concluded, "There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a steppingstone on the basis of its particular physiological effect." Two just-published studies, one from the University of Pittsburgh and one from Australia, reinforced that conclusion.

If there is a "gateway," it is the illicit drug market. And there is a way to close that gateway. In the Netherlands, adults are allowed to possess and buy small amounts of marijuana from regulated businesses that are strictly forbidden from handling hard drugs.

The result: Dutch marijuana use rates are somewhat lower than the United States, while Dutch rates of hard drug use are dramatically lower, with rates of heroin, ******* and speed use running at about one third of U.S. levels.

We can break the gateway, too, by taxing and regulating marijuana as we do alcohol.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project


Source: USA Today (US)
Page: 8A
Copyright: 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: USATODAY.com
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