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Marijuana As Bad As Heroin & Cocaine, Say US Authorities

Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, January 4, 2003
Marijuana is a gateway drug that makes users violent, has no medical benefits and is more addictive than heroin and cocaine, according to a letter distributed to US prosecutors by Federal Drug Policy officials.

The truth is that marijuana is not harmless," the letter decrees. "Smoking marijuana leads to changes in the brain similar to those caused by the use of cocaine and heroin."

The Reefer Madness style document is intended to encourage prosecutors to concentrate even more resources on busting smokers, US papers reported this week, reflecting US authorities' fears of losing the legalisation debate. Its publication came a week after drug czar John Walters specifically targeted cannabis in a speech in New Orleans.

"Marijuana is twice as important as cocaine," he claimed. "Marijuana is the most dangerous source of dependency." (Office of National Drug Control Policy)