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"Its a pretty sad state of affairs that sins are determined by whomever has the loudest voice. As a christian pot smoker, I applaud your site. Its about time we had a voice, and I thank you very much for your efforts! Great work and God bless"
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Focusing on Focus on the Family's Myths and Facts Concerning Marijuana
by j. wallace

Dr. Dobson, president and founder of Focus on the Family, is a recognized and respected leader of the modern day Christian community. For many he is the ultimate authority on issues facing the Christian family and his advice is generally followed.

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It is difficult to disagree with Dr. James Dobson. For years, I trusted his gentle, wise instruction with the raising of my children. Having five, I needed all the help I could get. Through Dr. Dobson I learned to draw my line short and often wondered if I would see his book, "The New Dare to Discipline", floating in the toilet.

When I first started looking into the marijuana issue, the Focus on the Family website was one of the first places I checked out. Naturally, the stance was against legalization, but no scriptural references were given to validate the FotF position. I then wrote, expressing my concern that the Christian community was in error in their unanimous support of the cannabis prohibition. In response I received the same information that was available on the FotF website.

Now, a few years down the road, I understand why there were no scriptural references to support the position of Focus on the Family � there are none. Quite the contrary, to support the criminalization of cannabis users is to go against the scriptures of God's holy word.

The authors' of "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, a Review of the Scientific Evidence", Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D and John P. Morgan, M.D., have graciously and generously consented to the somewhat extensive use of their book to refute the facts used by Dr. Dobson to validate the FotF position against legalization. In addition to their book, other sources, such as recent studies and The Drug War Fact Book http://www.drugwarfacts.org has also been used.

The following statements from Focus on the Family can be found at Focus on the Family's Dr. Dobson Answers Question About Marijuana

1. Ninety percent of those using hard drugs such as heroin started with marijuana.

  • "Marijuana does not cause people to use hard drugs. What the gateway theory presents as a casual explanation is a statistical association between common and uncommon drugs, an association that changes over time as different drugs increase and decrease in prevalence. Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the United States today. Therefore, people who have used less popular drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and LSD, are likely to have also used marijuana. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug. Indeed, for the large majority of the people, marijuana is a terminus rather than a gateway drug.".(1)
  • "The World Health Organization's investigation into the gateway effect of marijuana stated emphatically that the theory that marijuana use by adolescents leads to heroin use is the least likely of all hypothesis."(2)
  • In March 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on various aspects of marijuana, including the so-called Gateway Theory (the theory that using marijuana leads people to use harder drugs like cocaine and heroin). The IOM stated, "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causually linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs."(3)
  • The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on marijuana explained that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because "Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana � usually before they are of legal age."(4)

  • 2. Five marijuana cigarettes have the same cancer-causing capacity as 112 conventional cigarettes.

  • "Moderate smoking of marijuana appears to pose minimal danger to the lungs. Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains a number of irritant and carcinogens. But marijuana users typically smoke much less than tobacco smokers and, over time, inhale much less smoke. As a result, the risk of serious lung damage should be lower in marijuana smokers. There have been no reports of lung cancer related soley to marijuana. However, because researchers have found precancerous changes in cells taken from the lungs of heavy marijuana smokers, the possibility of lung cancer from marijuana cannot be ruled out. Unlike heavy tobacco smokers, heavy marijuana smokers exhibit no obstruction of the lungs small airways. This indicates that people will not develop emphysema from smoking marijuana."(5)

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    May 07 2002, 03:17:00
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