There is an interesting op-ed piece by Susan Nielsen, writing in The Oregonian, which seems to be complaining about some claims made on behalf of cannabis out on the west coast. Let’s take a look:
“For example, Measure 80 [a legalization initiative] says:
* Long-term, heavy marijuana users “do not deviate significantly from their social peers in terms of mental function.” True
* Moderate marijuana use “causes very little impairment of psychomotor functions.” In what time frame do you mean? How good was the cannabis?
* People who say marijuana is a gateway drug are lying. In fact, such lies “destroy the credibility of valid educational messages about moderate and responsible use (of marijuana) and valid warnings against other truly dangerous drugs.” Okay, lying is a strong word. The hypothesis that there is a gateway drug MAY be true, but if it is true, the gateway drugs are nicotine and caffeine. What’s your point?
* Marijuana is a “relatively nonaddictive and comparatively harmless euphoriant used and cultivated for more than 10,000 years without a single lethal overdose.” True.
* Marijuana use “does not constitute a public health problem of any significant dimension.” True; the public problem is caused by prohibition.
* People have been misled about the true environmental and medical benefits of hemp and marijuana by “federal and corporate misinformation campaigns.” True
Got that? And don’t forget the part about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, our cannabis-loving Founding Fathers. It is true that several of the founding fathers grew hemp. So . . .?”
I encourage reading and engaging people who disagree with us. It seems clear Ms. Nielsen does not like the tone of the argument around legalization out in Oregon. But is she complaining about the campaign speaking / using the truth? I can’t tell. Give her article a read and chime in with what you think.
[images: Google images Oregon]