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Lies, A Gateway to Disaster  

Lies, A Gateway to Disaster This billboard was photographed in Sandy, Oregon (west of Portland) on or about 5/17/2009. The Billboard of Waste There are others reportedly up around the state, part of an ongoing campaign as Prohibition seeks its own bailout. There several problems with this sign, as people see it.

Studies, like the IOM Report in 1999, have shown that the Gateway Theory of Prohibitionists is a lie and that lying about the issue is a waste and even counter-productive. It's a recipe for disaster.

Further, in this case, it could be construed as a hate crime. This is because it makes no distinction between black marketeers and medical cannabis cardholders and could be taken as encouragement to go after them. Some in the medical cannabis community see this as deliberate due to the same group who put this up also put forth several anti-MMJ bills this session.

Don't Blame Pot -- There's No Such Thing as a "Gateway Drug" - By Scott Morgan, DRCNet. Posted May 29, 2009.

The surging debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana has brought with it the resurrection of the "gateway theory," which alleges that experimenting with marijuana leads to the use of harder drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The gateway debate was reborn last week, thanks to a video of FBI director Robert Mueller testifying before Congress that marijuana should be illegal because it leads to more dangerous drug use.

Although the Mueller video has provoked amusement on pot-friendly websites, the unfortunate reality is that the "gateway drug" stigma continues to present an impediment to the reform of marijuana laws. A new Rasmussen poll found that a large percentage of Americans believe the gateway argument:

    The new survey also shows that nearly half of voters (46%) believe marijuana use leads to use of harder drugs. Thirty-seven percent (37%) do not see marijuana as a "gateway" drug.

Revealingly, the percentage who opposed marijuana legalization and the percentage who believed in the gateway theory were identical, both coming in at exactly 46%. As we look for ways to persuade those who remain opposed to marijuana reform, it's clearly in our interest to work towards demolishing the pernicious gateway theory once and for all. Let's take a look at what the data shows. Click > here < for more.

We should get campaigns going to hightlight the waste and those responsible. And who their "daddy" (political patrons) is/are. All activists should get this on their TV shows, if they're hosting one, or mainstream media if not. It's a great example of what we're up against, it shows one way how predujices are spread. We should get letters-to-the-editor in the paper and people under the billboards with signs of thier own. "It Must Be Great To Be Able To Waste Money In Times Like This!" and to call the number to complain. Or somethings like that. And all the other strategys cuz this isn't the first time, is it?

Your tax dollars working to spread ONDCP lies - December 1st, 2008 | By: Radical Russ

Just south of the Portland, Oregon, metro area is a town called Molalla. Like most rural areas in Oregon, it is politically much more The Billboard of Waste intolerant of cannabis than the liberal confines of Multnomah County. An Oregon NORML member snapped this pic while driving on US Hwy 99E. In case it’s unreadable the message on this billboard from the Molalla Coalition Against Drug Crime says:

MARIJUANA- A Gateway Drug to METH

This message is accompanied by a picture of a man smoking a joint on the left, and the now infamous Oregonian picture of the pock-marked female meth addict. Then the message continues by asking people to call the county sheriff’s office anonymous tip line.

We’re not against community organizations who in good faith try to relieve their neighborhoods of crime. It’s just sad that they’re trying to reduce the harm from hard drugs by lying about cannabis. Marijuana is not a gateway to meth or any other drug, any moreso than coffee, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, or Flintstones Chewable Vitamins. The gateway theory has been debunked by many independent organizations and even by our own drug-hating government:

    University of Pittsburgh 2006: Researchers found that adolescents who used marijuana prior to using other drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, were no more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder than other subjects in the study.

    RAND Corp Study 2002: “While the gateway theory has enjoyed popular acceptance, scientists have always had their doubts,” said lead researcher Andrew Morral, associate director of RAND’s Public Safety and Justice unit. “Our study shows that these doubts are justified.”

    Institute of Medicine 1999: “There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.

    “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.”

In fact, the American Medical Association claims that if there is such a “gateway” effect, it’s alcohol and tobacco that are the “gateway”. From the Journal of the American Medical Association:

    “…early regular use of tobacco and alcohol emerged as the 2 factors most consistently associated with later illicit drug use and abuse/dependence.”

My biggest problem with the billboard isn’t the lie. It’s that you and I paid for it.

That’s right, that billboard on the outskirts of my hometown, like many probably displayed around your hometown, are funded by grants from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In 1997 the Drug Free Communities Act was signed by President Clinton. Grants are given to local community anti-drug organizations, like the “Molalla Coalition Against Drug Crime”. Last year, ONDCP gave out $74 million in grants to 736 of these orgs around the country.

I called the contact name for the Molalla grant (5 SP011449-04) to try to find out how much the billboard cost and the amount of the federal grant, but she wasn’t very interested in speaking to me once I told her I was a journalist doing a story on government anti-drug grants. I hadn’t even gotten to the point of telling her I was from NORML before she was hanging up. But if we just take a simple average, it’s about $100,000 per organization.

I also looked up one of the leading (read: expensive) rehab centers in Oregon, Serenity Lane, and found out that a 28-day intensive inpatient drug rehab service costs $11,900. So, then, with that average grant of $100,000, the average “drug-free” community could pay for eight meth addicts to get drug rehab. The entire $74 million would treat 6,218 meth addicts, or just over 1% of the entire monthly meth-using population of the US (about 529,000 meth addicts).

Or they could blow it all on a marijuana gateway drug lie on a billboard. (Hey, if marijuana use is such a “gateway”, how come there are 14 million monthly stoners but only half a million monthly tweekers? Looks like only 1 out of 28 stoners found their way through the gate!) See full article and related links at - http://stash.norml.org/your-tax-dollars-working-to-spread-ondcp-lies/

Marijuana in Molalla: Return of the ‘Gateway Drug’ - December 5th, 2008 by James Pitkin

As featured on the Oregon NORML website, a member of the pro-pot group recently photographed this incredible billboard on Highway 99E.

And it appears that you paid for it.

As revealed by NORML’s research, the group named on the billboard — Molalla Coalition Against Drug Crime — receives federal money from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Contacted this morning, the woman named on the feds’ website as a contact for the Molalla group declined to comment.

“I’m really not interested in any kind of interview on the billboard,” said Shirley Morgan. “But thanks so much for calling.”

As NORML points out (and backs up by citing numerous studies): “Marijuana is not a gateway to meth or any other drug, any moreso than coffee, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, or Flintstones Chewable Vitamins.” Click > here < for the story and links.

Please let us know your thots, ideas and actions, if any. Post it for everyone, or give us feedback.


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Friday, May 22 at 01:15 PM:
Kathleen from Oregon coast wrote:
"FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE! For every such billboard we find, we need to launch one of OUR OWN, listing 3, or 4, or 5 brief myths (starting with, in this case, the "gateway" con) and with a reference to NORML.org at the bottom of each. "


I noticed that there is a website across the bottom of the billboard (http://hadit.com/). Here is the contact link for Hadit.com > http://www.hadit.com/contactus.html

It seems to be a veteran service site which brings up the question; why is their website connected to this ongoing lie?

Of course the billboard proudly displays 'Oregon State Sheriff's Association' which is one of the organizations that we were up against defending OMMP from the legislature.

Dan Koozer
Cannabis Liberation Front

Oregon State Sheriffs Association
www.oregonsheriffs.org
330 Hood St NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 364-4204
1-800-624-4405
FAX: 503-364-2059

OSSA President
Todd Anderson Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 7468
Salem, OR 97303
Todd Anderson, the President and CEO of the OSSA, is the Sheriff of Tillamook County.


I am living in ontario oregon and would like to say that I see the truth real simple. Americans seem to be brainwashed into thinking that marijuana will lead to harder drugs. So we keep it illegal and let the mexicans sell it to the american black market then they buy all of the guns from amaricans and bring them to the mexican drug people. So the truth is that american is going down if we do not put hemp back into the market place like before 1937 when it was legal for industry such as fuel clothing food medicine housing and bring our economy back to the United States As it is right now we are in essence giving our country away.

Please send this letter to any senator congressman or President Obama too if possible. I think we should decriminalize marijuana possession so that the mexicans can start to try to make an honest living instead of living off the american ignorance of crinimalizing marijusana yet where are the americans when the total amount that americans are spending on illegal marijuana is mentioned as it is a huge amount.

Imagine if we americans could convince the country to decriminalize it and let the americans have the profit from it instead of giving all the profit to the mexican gangsters. This could help normalize relation between u.s. and mexico as everybody would be on the same page. I am a medical marijuana patient for 9 years and have been able to alleviate the pain I have. Which is alot.

Melanie


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