Last updated on: 10/23/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Drug Free Kids: America's Challenge Biography

Position:
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“The FDA approves only medications that are safe and effective and marijuana is neither. To date, the FDA has not approved smoking marijuana for any condition or disease indication.

The Institute of Medicine and the National Institute of Health has declared that smoking marijuana is largely ineffective as a treatment for glaucoma. There are six classes of approved drugs and multiple surgical techniques available to treat glaucoma that effectively slows its progression and there are 18 layers of better medication to treat cancer.

Today, more young people are in treatment for marijuana than for all other drugs, including alcohol, and that 13 major mental health agencies recently produced a ½ page ad that linked marijuana usage to depression, increased thoughts of suicide and increased risk for schizophrenia later in life.”

Statement by Joyce Nalepka, President of Drug-Free Kids: America’s Challenge found in Joint Favorable Report to Connecticut House bill 6715, Mar. 21, 2007

[Editor’s Note: The Con statement above reflects the most current position we could find as of Oct. 23, 2009.

Drug Free Kids: America’s Challenge also expressed a “Con” view in this Nov. 18 2001 letter from Joyce Nalepka to the editor of the Washington Post:

“Researchers at major universities have confirmed that marijuana cigarettes are of no therapeutic value. Marijuana’s most active psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), destroys the immune-system cells, called lymphocytes, which also are impaired by the AIDS virus — putting AIDS patients who smoke pot in double jeopardy…

Not surprisingly, marijuana use is above the national average in eight of the nine states that passed pro-marijuana initiatives. Kids in treatment frequently say, ‘Everyone says pot is medicine. I thought it might be good for you — and before I knew it I was hooked…

Only the Food and Drug Administratino has jurisdiction to approve anything as medicine. Certainly, it is not the job of voters, elected officials or journalists.”]

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“Drug-Free Kids: America’s Challenge is a national and international network of grassroots parents, grandparents, law enforcement groups, service organizations, educators, faith-based groups and individuals, elected officials and caretakers of children. This diverse group centers on education for prevention of drug use by youth, adamantly opposes any form of legalization of Schedule I drugs, and fully supports random, non-punitive student drug testing to ensure that parents get early warning of any drug use before it’s too late.”

“Links and Resources,” Institute for Behavior and Health website (accessed Oct. 21, 2009)

Mission:

“Drug Free Kids is a non-profit educational organization presenting a strong national voice dedicated to the empowerment of parents to effectively guide their children through a safe and drug-free adolescence.”

“Mission Statement,” Drug Free Kids: America’s Choice website (accessed Nov. 7, 2006)

Other:
Anti-drug advocacy group