#365 Drug Czar Walters Exaggerating Again

Date: Mon, 12 May 2008
Subject: #365 Drug Czar Walters Exaggerating Again

DRUG CZAR WALTERS EXAGGERATING AGAIN

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #365 – Monday, 12 May 2008

Well if we didn’t already know it was the month of May, the Office of
National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in Washington DC led by Drug Czar
John Walters is doing their best to remind us – again. For the eighth
year in a row under Walters’ lead, the ONDCP has used the first half
of May to release their annual “latest scary facts about marijuana”
press release.

Packaged and carefully crafted in the guise of a scientific study, the
ONDCP has again done nothing more than take a few correlative facts
about teenagers and marijuana use and then ‘conclude’ that the pot use
creates causative and inescapable debilitating health effects for our
youth.

This year, it’s “depression.” Citing the results of a dubious survey
from New Zealand wherein teenagers who acknowledged feeling depression
also often cited use of marijuana, the ONDCP report concludes that
teenagers who use cannabis face an increased likelihood of being
depressed. Sadly, this is as scientifically causative as saying that
many people who feel pain also use aspirin. And that therefore
aspirin use causes pain.

Even more grim is that such junk science press releases are used to
add fuel to the fiery federal insistence that all marijuana use – even
for adults, and even for appropriate medical use with a doctor’s
recommendation (currently legal in 12 U.S. states and Canada) – should
remain a criminal offense – an offense worthy of arrest, prosecution,
incarceration and a lifetime criminal record.

Fortunately, based on our 11+ years of covering drug policy news at
MAP, we’ve come to see that an increasing number of newspaper
reporters and editors view information coming from the Drug Czar’s
office with a cocked eyebrow and/or even a smirking dismissal. That’s
in large part due to their receiving a steady diet of more honest and
truthful information about marijuana – both it’s negative effects and
it’s positive benefits. That flow of alternative personal and
professional testimony comes from people like you – the users of MAP
and the people most interested in a public drug policy that is founded
on facts rather than emotionally driven misinformation.

MAP has been archived news clippings that resulted from the ONDCP
press release over this past weekend and will continue to add more as
newshawks like you find more. All the clippings found so far start
with a subject line of “US” and may be found here:

http://www.mapinc.org/topic/depression

Please consider writing and sending a Letter to the Editor to the
listed newspapers of your choice and the newspapers people read where
you live. If you write to more than one newspaper, we strongly suggest
at least some modification of your message so that each newspaper
receives a unique letter.

Often the best targets for response are Opinion items (Editorials,
OPEDs and other LTEs) which may be printed during the days ahead.
Please recheck the link above during the week for additional targets
for letters.

Thanks for your effort and support. It’s not what others do it’s what
YOU do.

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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 tips on how to write
LTEs that are 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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