To the Editor:And here's DEA Administrator Tandy's original letter:
Karen Tandy, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, makes a misleading claim about teens, marijuana, and drug treatment in her March 29 letter to the Post ("A drug dealer's toll on Americans").
Ms. Tandy cherrypicks the statistic that more teens enter treatment for marijuana than for any other drug, but fails to mention that 54 percent of adolescents entering treatment for marijuana were coerced by the criminal justice system (citation below).
It turns out marijuana isn't the addictive substance the DEA wants to paint it as. The fact is, the greatest harm associated with marijuana is being arrested and sent to jail. Who wouldn't pick treatment over incarceration if given the choice?
Tom Angell, Campaigns Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
1623 Connecticut Ave NW; Suite 300
Washington, DC 20009
phone: (202) 293-4414
cell: (202) 557-4979
fax: (202) 293-8344
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Source for stat: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. The DASIS report: Treatment referral sources for adolescent marijuana users. Rockville, MD. March 29, 2002. Online at: http://www.drugabusestatistics.samhsa.gov/2k2/YouthMJtx/YouthMJtx.htm
Please take five minutes and send a letter of your own.
A Drug Dealer's Toll on Americans
Wednesday, March 29, 2006; Page A18
Marc Emery, who distributed millions of marijuana seeds throughout the country, admits the accuracy of the Drug Enforcement Administration's charges against him, but he denies harming Americans ["High Crimes, or a Tokin' Figure?" Style, March 18].
Like all dealers, Mr. Emery turns a blind eye to marijuana's victims -- people like Victoria Rogers, a mother driving with her children when she was killed by a marijuana-intoxicated motorist.
Marijuana feeds thousands of addictions -- so many that more teenagers enter treatment for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined. Thousands of adolescents whose brains are still developing also suffer from depression, memory impairment and diminished judgment because of marijuana. Users destroy their lungs because marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.
That Mr. Emery sees no consequences of his actions does not change the fact that they destroy innocent American lives and that he should and will face legal consequences as a result.
KAREN P. TANDY
Drug Enforcement Administration