Re: drugs & alcohol
Bob Evans (evans@THEBORG.WES.ARMY.MIL)
Tue, 6 Feb 1996 09:21:54 -0600
(I'm replying via the SCOUTS-L discussion group because I have received a
number of messages that claim that marijuana is not all that bad.)
It is true that abuse of alcohol is as bad as abuse of marijuana. However,
the only reason to use marijuana is to get intoxicated. Most people who
have an alcoholic drink are not trying to get intoxicated. Unfortunately,
many do (I have a number of alcoholics in my family).
The physical addictiveness of marijuana is unknown; the psychological
addictiveness is high. Here is some additional information from the
Drug Enforcement Agency:
Marijuana also affects:
The immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells to fight off
The reproductive system by delaying the onset of puberty in young men
and women; and
Babies who are born to women who used marijuana during pregnancy;
these babies are smaller and more likely to develop other health problems.
In July 1995, the Department of Health and Human Service held its first research
conference on marijuana. At the conference, new information about the long-term
dangers of marijuana use was released. Some of the major findings
included the following:
Peter Fried, Ph.D., from the Carleton University in Ottawa, found that
marijuana use during pregnancy has harmful effects on children's intellectual
abilities a decade or more after they are born.
Through the use of an animal model, Billy Martin, Ph.D. of the Virginia
Commonwealth University, showed that compulsive marijuana use may lead to an
addiction similar to that produced by other illicit drugs.
Roger Roffman, Ph.D. and Robert Stephens, Ph.D., both from the University o
Washington, showed that marijuana can put a serious chokehold on long-term users
who try to quit.
The American Medical Association policy statement on marijuana says, in part,
"The AMA believes that cannabis (marijuana) is a dangerous drug and as such is
a public health concern." This is not a new position for the AMA; it was
adopted in 1969 and reaffirmed in 1994.
As a summary, we in Scouting have a duty to inform scouts about the effects of
all drugs. And, if we find that some of our scouts are using drugs (alcohol
included) at non-scout activities, we should do our best to get the scouts to
stop the destructive behaviour. The scout oath and law do not apply only at
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City