Medi-Pot Hysteria Unfounded
In other words, it appears that McCaffrey's dire pot-hopped predictions including his over-the-top promise that legalized medi-mari would lead to "increased drug abuse in every category" were just plain-ass wrong.
According to the MPP report, instead of sending a message to teens that pot use is just fine, thank you very much, teen marijuana use in California has actually been on the decline since 1996; the most recent California Student Survey, the state's adolescent drug-use tracking tool, revealed that only 18.7% of ninth graders reported having used pot within the past six months, the lowest level in more than 10 years. Meanwhile, marijuana arrests in California have remained steady, notes MPP; in 2004, the most recent year for which complete statistics were available, some 61,000 people were arrested on pot-related charges, according to state Department of Justice statistics. And despite the continued official inclination to discredit medi-pot laws as nothing more than a backdoor attempt to legalize pot for all, public support for legalized medicinal marijuana has solidified: A national Gallup Poll released in November 2005 reported that 78% support making marijuana legal "for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering" positional support that would, in fact, broaden medi-mari protections. Because marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, doctors are actually forbidden to prescribe it; instead, medi-mari users do so only with a doctor's recommendation. (The entire report can be found online at www.mpp.org.)
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