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Letter to the Editor: Going to Pot

Manhattan: Parents’ outrage over the treatment their marijuana-smoking teenagers received from the New York City Police Department following the kids’ arrests at a pro-legalization rally in lower Manhattan on May 6 is at once baffling and worrisome.

Baffling because the parents, who obviously care about the welfare of their children, rallied around perceived injustices meted out by the criminal justice system, rather than questioning why their youngsters are abusing a harmful substance in the first place. And worrisome because at Odyssey House, we treat hundreds of kids a year whose lives have come unraveled because of marijuana abuse.

For some kids in our long-term treatment programs, marijuana was the gateway drug to crack and heroin addiction. We implore parents to get educated about the harm of marijuana. The negative repercussions of drug addiction last a lot longer than 36 uncomfortable hours in a precinct cell.

Peter Provet
President and CEO, Odyssey House

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