<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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"Therapeutic Justice," Made in USA

The Drug Treatment Lobby's Newest Industry: Marijuana Users


By Latuff
Narco News Cartoonist-in-Residence

May 20, 2003

Somewhere in a country called América…

Add Your Comments

Read What Others Have Written

En Español:

Texto de la Caricatura:

“Tienes dos opciones”, dice el Estado brasileño a los usuarios de
marihuana arrestados: la cárcel o la “Justicia Terapéutica”.

Haz un comentario

Em Português:

Texto do cartum:

“Você tem duas escolhas”, afirma o governo brasileiro aos usuários de
maconha detidos: cadeia ou “justiça terapêutica”

A Comentar

Authentic Publishers: Download a .tif version of this cartoon for publication in your newspaper or magazine! (470K)

Read the Narco News report upon which this editorial cartoon comments:

U.S.-Funded “Expert” Brings Reefer Madness to Brazil
São Paulo Newspaper Claims that Marijuana Causes “Insomnia, Nausea, Muscular Pain,” and “Loss of Appetite”
By Al Giordano

Special to The Narco News Bulletin

Publisher’s Commentary

Brazilian Psychologist Ronaldo Laranjeira claims that marijuana smokers suffer from “insomnia, nausea, muscular pain, anxiety,a nervousness, sweat, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and intense desire to use the drug.”

He recently invited professor Robert Stephens, who’s “Marijuana Treatment Project” has been financed by the U.S. government, to promote this new industry in Brazil. Stephens was co-author of a 2002 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that was refuted by a JAMA editorial in the very same issue. Stephens has also invited some ridicule by extrapolating “data” from a cartoon TV show – The Simpsons – to establish wide generalities about marijuana smokers everywhere.

Does marijuana cause insomnia? Does it cause nausea and loss of appetite? Does pot smoking cause muscle pain? Does it cause anxiety and nervousness? Or is the fact that marijuana is illegal that brings anxiety and nervousness to some users?

And, if marijuana does cause insomnia, nausea, muscle pain, and anxiety, why do so many doctors and health care professionals in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere prescribe marijuana as a medicine to relieve those very same problems of insomnia, nausea, muscle pain, and anxiety?

Which doctors are lying? Which are telling the truth? And why are the dishonest ones spreading falsehoods?

And, are we making progress if governments impose medical or psychiatric ‘treatment’ on drug users instead of prison? Or is ‘therapeutic justice’ the same, or perhaps worse, than prison?

Kind readers – doctors and patients – please give us the true facts, and feel free to include a link or two to more information about the true effects of marijuana use in your comments.

(For advice on how to best get your comments, pro or con, posted on Narco News – the number one criteria is “do not bore the reader!” – see the instructions on our Reader Comments page.)

For more work by Latuff, see:

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America