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February 2004
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More lies from Deputy Czar Andrea.

Via Vice Squad: Andrea Barthwell is at it again in this OpEd in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune. Andrea is one of our Drug Czar’s Deputy Directors.
Naturally, shortly after a medical marijuana bill is introduced in the state legislature, the feds have to step in and try to apply some pressure — as usual by lying.
First, she brings up and completely distorts, as an example of excess, a medical marijuana awards event in Oregon and then notes:

With marijuana awards making a mockery of medicine, drug use and addiction, it is no wonder we have a hard time teaching kids how dangerous drugs really are and creating an environment of prohibition.

“creating an environment of prohibition”??? What is that and why would we possibly want it? Isn’t an environment of prohibition when citizens are less and less likely to cooperate with police because of rightly perceived excesses in tactics and sentences? Isn’t an environment of prohibition when people end up dead like this? Isn’t an environment of prohibition where students are, without suspicion, made to pee in a cup for the government and lie down on the floor while dogs sniff them? Environment of prohibition? WTF?
She continues with the usual:

Smoking marijuana impairs attention, memory, and dexterity, and increases the risk of traffic accidents. Repeated use can lead to respiratory disease and permanent cognitive impairment. Marijuana use is addictive.

False. All of these specific points have been debunked before and elsewhere on this site, and what do any of them have to do with medical marijuana? According to the DEA’s own chief administrative law judge Francis L. Young, marijuana is “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
Andrea again shills for the pharmaceutical companies:

There is a variety of existing, scientifically proven options available to patients in need of pain relief. Among these is the FDA-approved medicine Marinol. But smoked marijuana advocates refuse to acknowledge Marinol as a viable option. Interestingly enough, the only property that Marinol lacks is the capacity to create a “high.”

Again false. One of the problems with Marinol is its strong “high” that is harder to control with oral medicine. Patients complain that by the time the high reaches them it’s too late to adjust the dosage, whereas with smoked marijuana, the dosage can be easily regulated.
She ends:

The biggest threat to creating an effective environment of prohibition is the active campaign of legalizers to blur the line between dangerous, illegal drugs and medicine.

There’s that “environment of prohibition” again. And the lie of classifying marijuana as “dangerous.”
And don’t forget. We pay her salary.

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