Very interesting bit from Terry Stern, a member of the Friends of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana, NJ. I like it so much I may ask him to write a weekly piece.
CHRISTIE MYTHS and how to answer them
Christie Myth: Marijuana is a gateway, therefore medical marijuana will lead to dangerously increased hard drug use.
In a study commissioned by The White House, the Institute of Medicine shaved this shaggy dog naked years ago. Those who make such claims are confusing cause with correlation. People who use harder drugs often also used marijuana first. But they also often used alcohol, tobacco, hand soap and underwear before hard drugs as well, none of which are blamed for their harder drug use. The Institute of Medicine concluded that marijuana didn’t even make the list of top causes for hard drug use. This claim is stamped “fraud”.
Christie Myth: Marijuana smoke is deadlier than tobacco smoke. Any potential benefit is offset by its carcinogenic qualities.
Dr. Donald Tashkin, a leading pulmonologist, found that even regular and heavy smoking of marijuana does not lead to lung cancer. In fact, daily cannabis users not only showed a huge reduction of risk compared with tobacco smokers, they showed a slightly reduced risk of contracting lung cancer compared with total non-smokers. It seems counterintuitive, yet it is the case. And cannabis does not need to be inhaled as smoke in any event. This claim is stamped “fraud”.
Christie Myth: Allowing the medical use of marijuana will send the wrong message to children and lead to more teens using the drug.
Of 13 medical marijuana states which have before-and-after data, some show increased use, some show decreased among teens. Teens also decreased and increased usage In states with no data or no programs. The conclusion of the study by the University of Wisconsin is that there is no correlation between medical marijuana programs and teen marijuana use. This claim is stamped “fraud”.
Christie Myth: Supporting medical marijuana is politically risky.
Across the country, public support for medical marijuana is strong and steadily rising. It cuts across demographic and party lines. More than 78% of Americans support medical cannabis. New Jersey’s figure is 85%. It would, rather, seem politically risky to stand against medical marijuana. This claim is stamped “desperate”.