Advertisement

LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Tell Kids the Truth on Drugs

September 27, 2003

Re "Anti-Drug Pitch Goes Wide," editorial, Sept. 22: The government tells you that marijuana is as bad as heroin, funds terrorists and, if you use it, you will go mad and kill people. Anyone who takes a single puff can tell you that those are lies. The real problem with marijuana is that it is illegal and therefore unregulated and untaxed. If the state would grow and sell marijuana to adults, who buy it anyway, it would make/save about $10 billion a year. If a third of this money was given to local police, a third to education and a third went into the general coffers, California would soon be out of debt.

Steve Casselman

Woodland Hills

*

According to several nationally projectable studies -- including Monitoring the Future -- teen drug use has declined nationwide since the launch of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The Pride Survey cited by The Times did not find any statistically significant increase in teen drug use; moreover, Pride's findings came from students in just 24 states nationwide, California not among them.

Several independent studies point to the efficacy of anti-drug advertising. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found exposure to advertising from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America was associated with a reduced probability of marijuana or cocaine use among adolescents. Researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania concluded that 80% of Partnership ads they tested either strengthened or maintained anti-drug attitudes. Though the Partnership develops and donates many ads for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, it has no fiscal interest in the effort. Our only concern remains helping kids and teens reject the use of drugs.

Stephen J. Pasierb

President, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, New York City

*

It should come as no surprise that Bush's drug czar, John P. Walters, threw out the University of Pennsylvania's finding that his department's anti-drug ads had "no evidence of a positive effect" on teens' attitudes toward marijuana use. The administration shoots the messenger whenever hard science disagrees with its agenda. The Healthy Forests and Clear Skies initiatives are two glaring examples of this "don't confuse me with facts, save the conservative base" mind-set.

Ken Cirisan

San Luis Obispo

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|