War on drugs is a self-serving political policy
Adverse health effects are always a concern, such as carcinogens in marijuana, as there are over 200 carcinogenic in many "natural" substances. Many of these same substances also have anti-carcinogens. Carrots contain caffeic acid; broccoli spears contain allyl isothiocyante; apples contain acetaldehyde. All carcinogenic.
The claim that there are 10,000 studies exposing cannabis as harmful both physically and mentally has no basis in actual fact. Beverly Uranek research librarian at the University of Mississippi (the only legal cannabis plantation), said, "we are totally in the dark as to where the statement that there are 10,000 studies showing the negative impact of marijuana originated" (Medical Marijuana handbook).
What should be done about drug abuse? Seventy-five percent of drug abuse funds are spent on enforcement, according to the Washington Post article. Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy, after reviewing 600 studies, found treatment is effective in reducing drug abuse. In USA Today on March 18, Thomas McLellan noted that the cost of incarceration is greater than the price of effectiveness of treatment.
On Oct. 29 1991, a harm-reduction coalition observed more than three dozen human case studies of ibogaine's effectiveness in treating addiction. Forty percent were treated successfully. A few of the forty percent retried drugs but quickly lost interest. Another 36 percent were kept substantially drug free with treatments every six months ("The Ibogaine Story"). Acupuncture is another alternative treatment that has shown some success with both drugs and alcohol.(Lancet June 24 1998).
Prevent is the ultimate goal. Parents play a key role in preventing drug abuse in their children. As noted in "Don't panic A parent's Guide to Understanding and preventing Alcohol and Drug Abuse" parents must.