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August 2004
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Fascinating news from Marijuana Policy Project

The MPP is really doing a great job of getting the word out.
“bullet” First, this release which is designed to prep the media for the upcoming barrage of meaningless statistics, which will inevitably be spun to support drug warrior claims.

“The annual changes in these survey results generally have no more significance than the daily ups and downs of the stock market, but government officials hype the survey results for political reasons,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. “This year, we are urging reporters to ignore the spin, take a step back, and look at the big picture — the long-term trends that policymakers try to obscure.”

And they follow it up with an extraordinary pdf document: Marijuana Arrests, Availability, and Use:Three Decades of Failure, with visuals and text like these:

  • “We are winning this war
    [on drugs].”
    –Pres. Richard Nixon, Oct. 15, 1972
  • “It is the declared policy of the United
    States to create a Drug-Free America
    by 1995.”
    –The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Sec. 5251-B,
    enacted by Congress and Pres. Ronald Reagan

Check out the whole thing (note: graphs above provided here without explanation or context are fully explained and cited in the MPP document)
“bullet” In your face, Drug Czar (I mean, Drug Lord)!
MPP also released this illuminating information:

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — New figures released today by the state of California show that teen use of marijuana has dropped markedly since the state’s medical marijuana law, Proposition 215, was passed by voters in 1996. …

“These new figures should put to rest forever the myth that medical marijuana laws ‘send the wrong message to children,'” said Bruce Mirken, a lifelong Californian who serves as director of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. “Frankly, it never made any sense that kids would think a drug is ‘cool’ because cancer or AIDS patients use it to keep from vomiting. We teach young people that powerful medicines like morphine and other opiates can help some very sick people under a doctor’s care, but that these drugs are not toys, and we now know that teens can understand the same message about marijuana.

Good stuff.
(Of course, according to Google News, only a tiny handful of media have run this story, while 243 media outlets are running big with a different story: Survey links teenage sexuality to drug use – much more fun for them to report.)

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