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I object to this anti-marijuana ad I keep hearing on Sirius...

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Jeebo Donating Member (362 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:32 PM
Original message
I object to this anti-marijuana ad I keep hearing on Sirius...
"There is no scientific evidence that use of one drug necessarily causes use of another drug ... is there? Well, here's a reality check. Among young people who use hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, almost all of them used marijuana first. Makes you think, doesn't it?"

I hope it DOES make people think, because if they do, they will see how completely bogus this reasoning is. OF COURSE people who use hard drugs have also tried marijuana; that's a no-brainer. I'm surprised there is ANYBODY AT ALL among that group who has never tried marijuana. But that doesn't "prove" that marijuana use "leads" to harder drug use; all it does is show that the same kinds of inclinations some people have toward recreational drug use inevitably results in their trying different kinds of drugs. In other words, the use of marijuana and harder drugs is a RESULT of those inclinations, and the "cause" of the experimentation with harder drugs is not the earlier marijuana use, but the same inclinations that also caused that earlier marijuana use. Common sense dictates that the marijuana experimentation will come before use of harder drugs, because of a natural tendency to approach something new with caution at first.

Another reason this ad's reasoning is bogus is the fact that it STARTS with a population sample that INCLUDES all of the people who will "prove" the desired conclusion, and EXCLUDES all of the people who will DISPROVE that conclusion. Allow me to offer myself as an example: I am 54 years old, I do not use drugs, not even the legal ones (I quit smoking in 1990 and never have been a drinker at all), but I did smoke lots of marijuana in the early 1970s until the middle 1980s. I have NEVER used any illegal drug other than marijuana and hashish -- and actually, the only times I have ever tried hashish were in legal coffeehouses in Amsterdam. What's more, I have never been even mildly tempted to try any harder drugs than marijuana, and always have declined them when offered. Now for the conclusion offered by the objectionable ad to be valid, it would have to include among its statistical sampling a cross-section of the drug-using population that INCLUDES people who MIGHT not choose to use harder drugs after trying marijuana. I am one of those people. But instead, this ad derives a conclusion from a statistically invalid population sample that BY DEFINITION excludes people like me.

I got on the phone and tried to call these people once last week. I kept getting automated menus ("For blah blah, press 1; for yak yak, press 2...") and never did figure out how to get to talk to a real person. Maybe I didn't try hard enough. Anyway, I was going to tell them that there are plenty of VALID reasons not to use drugs that DO NOT attempt to fool people with illogic and fallacious reasoning, and that sneaky methods are not only dishonest, but also counterproductive, because the people who see through them inevitably will wonder whether they can believe anything else the same people tell them.

So, not having succeeded in complaining to those people about their ad, I decided to post my musings here instead.

Does anybody know a Web site or an e-mail address for these people so I can write them a letter?

Ron

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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Can't help you with contact info
Edited on Thu May-06-04 12:36 PM by redqueen
but damn does that crap theory die hard.

The *real* gateway drug is TOBACCO! I know it was for me!
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gpandas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. they all drink milk first also n/t
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. I bet they all smoked tobacco and drank alcohol, too
so where are the screams and cries for criminalization? When will these two LEGAL drugs become classified as "gateway" drugs???

rhetorical questions, of course
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Demobrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. Uh huh. First tell me how many heroin addicts
have used pot. Then tell me how many pot smokers have used heroin. I'll draw my own conclusions, thanks.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. Ban aspirin
Sorry, I can't answer your question.

Among young people who use hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, almost all of them used marijuana first.

I'd be willing to bet that among most young people who use marijuana, almost all of them used aspirin first. Therefore, aspirin must be a gateway drug.


I really must be more careful about what I write, the next thing I know, along with ephedra and tryptophan, aspirin may be banned by the FDA.
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