#351 Please Refute Reefer Mania

Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007
Subject: #351 Please Refute Reefer Mania

PLEASE REFUTE REEFER MANIA

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #351 – Sunday, 29 July 2007

On Friday, the British medical journal Lancet published a 13 page
meta-analysis ‘Cannabis Use and Risk of Psychosis in Later Life.’

As a result the media around the world has used the study, most often
with incorrect data and conclusions, to create another reefer mania
scare.

Backers of stern cannabis prohibition laws have seized on this news to
urge the British government to increase the potential punishment of
users under their laws.

More reasoned voices have cautioned that escalating criminal penalties
based on a perceived increased health risk would be counterproductive.
See ‘Experts Dismiss Case for Cannabis Reclassification’
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n901/a05.html

MAP is continually archiving both international and domestic coverage
of the issue as we receive clippings. These press clippings may be
reviewed by using the following link, which is updated nightly. Note
that MAP identifies press stories by the location of the story. Thus a
number at the link are identified as “UK:” but are actually from
newspapers in the United States or Canada.

http://www.mapinc.org/topics/psychosis

Please consider writing and sending Letters to the Editor to the
newspapers of your choice. It is important that mainstream newspaper
editors and opinion writers are given a more complete and balanced
perspective than that being pushed by prohibitionists. If you elect to
write to more than one newspaper, we suggest at least some
modification of your message so that each newspaper receives a unique
letter.

Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do, it’s what YOU do.

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The study, as published in the Lancet, was placed on line by the
Guardian as a 13 page .pdf file.

See:
http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2007/07/27/cannabis_new.pdf

The best critique of the media’s reaction to the study we have seen
provides an accurate assessment of the report. Thus it may provide
ideas for letter writers. Please see the column ‘Cannabis Data Comes
to the Crunch’ at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n906/a02.html

Additionally, as the Lancet study was in the preparatory stages this
past May, NORML’s Paul Armentano provided an astute analysis of the
core propositions put forth.

See: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6798

Armentano’s analysis may help letter writers more accurately explain
key alternative conclusions which may be drawn from the Lancet study.

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Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:

http://www.mapinc.org/resource/#guides

Or contact MAP’s Media Activism Facilitator for personal tips on how
to write LTEs that get printed.

heath@mapinc.org

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PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER

Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list ( sentlte@mapinc.org ) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to heath@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others
can learn from your efforts.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list ( sentlte@mapinc.org ) will help you
to review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing
efforts.

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see

http://www.mapinc.org/lists/index.htm#form

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Prepared by: The MAP Media Activism Team http://www.mapinc.org/resource

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