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This advertisement appeared in the November 9, 1998 issue of The New Republic.

Can we handle the
Truth about Marijuana?

MYTH: Marijuana is a gateway drug.

FACT: For every 104 people who have used marijuana, there is only
one regular user of cocaine and less than one heroin addict. (1)

MYTH: Marijuana is addictive.

FACT: Less than one percent of people who consume marijuana do so on
a daily or near daily basis. An even smaller minority develop dependence
on marijuana. Withdrawal symptoms, if experienced at all, are mild. (2)

MYTH: Marijuana lowers motivation.

FACT: For twenty five years, researchers have searched for a marijuana-
induced amotivational syndrome and have failed to find it. Of course,
people who are constantly intoxicated, no matter what the drug, are
not likely to be productive. (3)

MYTH: Higher concentrations of THC make marijuana
more dangerous.

FACT: There is no possibility of a fatal overdose from smoking marijuana,
regardless of potency. High potency marijuana may be less harmful to
the lungs because people can use less to achieve the desired effects. (4)

MYTH: Marijuana causes brain damage

FACT: No medical test used to determine brain damage has indicated brain
damage in humans who use marijuana - even after long-term use. (5)

So, why did we arrest 642,000 Americans
last year for marijuana offences?

SOURCES: (1) Department of HHS, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1997. (2) Department of HHS, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1997; Jones, r.t. et al, "Clinical Relevance of Cannabis Tolerance and Dependence," Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 21:143-526 (1981). (3) Pope, H.G. et al, "Drug Use and Life Style Among College Undergraduates in 1989: A Comparison With 1969 and 1978,: American Journal of Psychiatry 147:998-001 (1990); Kandel, D. et al, "The Impact of Drug Use on Earnings; A Life-Span Perspective," Social Forces 74:243-270 (1995). (4) Department of Health and Human Services, "Marijuana and the Cannabinoids," pp., 131-44 in Drug Abuse and Drug Abuse Research, third Triennial Report to Congress from the Secretary (1991). (5) Hannerz, l and Hindmarsh, T. "Neurological and Neuroradiological Examination of Chronic Cannabis Smokers," Annals of Neurology 13:207-10 (1983); Stuve, F.A. and Straumania, J.J., "Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Methods in Human Marijuana Research Historical Review and Future Trends," Drug Development Research 20: 369-88 (1990).

A complete discussion of the effects of marijuana is available from Marijuana Myths / Marijuana Facts:
A Review of the Scientific Evidence by Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D. and John Morgan, M.D. available from Bookworld Services 1-800-444-2524.

Visit Drug War Facts at: www.drugsense.org

Common Sense for Drug Policy, Kevin B. Zeese President, 703-354-5694, 703-354-5695 (fax), csdp@drugsense.org

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