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Continued: Readers Write (March 8): Ukraine, traffic, marijuana, minimum wage, legal terminology

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  • Last update: March 7, 2014 - 6:03 PM



Calls for research seem more like a tactic

For more than 100 years, marijuana by any name (gage, hash, weed, etc.) has been commonly used. After it was criminalized, with every call to decriminalize it there has been a perceived need for more research (“Marijuana, fine, but is it medical?” March 6).

I leave conspiracy theories to others. However, with a documented need for research on all aspects of marijuana use, the salient question is: Why has it never been allowed to go forward?

John Holmquist, Minneapolis

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In 1970, Congress impaneled the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, the largest-ever scientific inquiry into marijuana. Conducted by Harvard University, the inquiry did not investigate medical marijuana, but its views on marijuana nearly 45 years ago are useful:

• “The Boston subjects showed no lassitude, indifference, carelessness in personal hygiene or lack of productivity — all supposed to be characteristic of very heavy use.”

• “Withdrawal from very heavy marijuana use (in studies of Jamaica’s ganja and Greece’s hashish) may produce restlessness, insomnia and anxiety very similar to tobacco withdrawal.”

• “The overwhelming majority of marijuana users do not progress to other drugs. Only 2% become heavy marijuana users.”

• “Marijuana is inaccurately classified … as a ‘habit-forming’ drug leading to dependence.”

• “The adult recreational user is not generally viewed as a significant social problem.”

• “Individuals tend to smoke only the amount necessary to achieve the desired drug effect.”

• “There is widespread doubt about the rationale for making the conduct illegal.”

• “There is little likelihood that marijuana can change the basic personality structure of the individual to any significant degree.”

• “There is no compelling reason in marijuana’s effects, individual or social, to justify government invasion of a private home to prevent personal use.”

William Boudreau, Minneapolis

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