To the Editor:
It is absolutely essential that voters in Alaska and elsewhere make a clear distinction between legalizing marijuana and allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes. Dr. Herbert D. Kleber stated this succinctly in “What Is the Matter With Mary Jane?” (Week in Review, Oct. 15), when he said that the former is political, the latter scientific, and that each should be judged accordingly.
My main concern as a treatment provider is that whatever laws adults choose to pass, they do not do so to the detriment of those who cannot vote — our children.
More than 60 percent of adolescents in substance abuse treatment are there because of marijuana abuse. No one wants to see more children in treatment, especially parents, but a softening in our position on marijuana is a sure-fire way to guarantee it.
President, Odyssey House
New York, Oct. 16, 2000