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Sat, Aug. 17

Letter: Marijuana dangers


The Daily Courier on May 19 brings Marijuana's political, scientific and social issues all into sharp focus.

Carlos Alfaro, Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) representative for Arizona, has burst upon the scene here in Prescott. He has brazenly attacked our own Sheila Polk and her Phoenix counterpart Bill Montgomery, both County Attorneys. Alfaro is determined to insure that the question of recreational marijuana will become a ballot issue next year. He derides our excellent County Attorney and her voice at MATForce, claiming them not to be qualified for public education because they have failed "to be talking about the studies that show marijuana is safer than alcohol." What references does he show? Where are his facts?

Space is too short for a detailed rebuttal, but here are the conclusions of a clinical study by Dr. J.R. Tinklenberg as reported in 1972, "Marijuana and Alcohol", Psychopharm Bull. , 8:9-10: "Alcohol is rapidly and entirely eliminated or metabolized within 8 to 10 hours after its absorption, has a half-life of 4 hours. Delta-9-THC has a half-life of 2 to 3 days and its metabolites, which are slowly excreted over a week, accumulate in tissues and body fluids. Daily use of alcohol, amounting to 20 to 50 ml a day, does not accumulate in tissues. It would seem that Cannabis cannot become a substitute for alcohol on a daily basis. Daily use of Cannabis would appear to be fraught with hazard because of the rapid development of tolerance, which leads to chronic self-administration of amounts, which could produce in a few years significant mental deterioration. This same tolerance may lead the Cannabis user to experiment with other, stronger hallucinogens or other, more potent psychotropic drugs."

Also, in the same issue of the Courier, Sally Schindel's heart-rending letter should be read by Alfaro and everyone else. She leaves no doubt concerning the curse of marijuana in all of its forms and uses.

Benjamin K. Souler



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