SCIENCE BLOG: Marijuana is not a “gateway” drug that predicts or eventually leads to substance abuse, suggests a 12-year University of Pittsburgh study. Moreover, the study’s findings call into question the long-held belief that has shaped prevention efforts and governmental policy for six decades and caused many a parent to panic upon discovering a bag of pot in their child’s bedroom. The Pitt researchers tracked 214 boys beginning at ages 10-12, all of whom eventually used either legal or illegal drugs. When the boys reached age 22, they were categorized into three groups: those who used only alcohol or tobacco, those who started with alcohol and tobacco and then used marijuana (gateway sequence) and those who used marijuana prior to alcohol or tobacco (reverse sequence). Nearly a quarter of the study population who used both legal and illegal drugs at some point – 28 boys – exhibited the reverse pattern of using marijuana prior to alcohol or tobacco, and those individuals were no more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who followed the traditional succession of alcohol and tobacco before illegal drugs, according to the study, which appears in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. MORE
Obama’s Infamous Granny-Killing Death Panel Finally Gets Its Own Web Site
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High Asleep On The Phone During Hudson River Crash
NEW YORK TIMES: A personal phone call during last week’s collision over New York’s Hudson River has led to two air traffic controllers being removed from duty, although officials said the conversation probably had no impact on the tragedy. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Thursday that a controller at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and his supervisor have been placed on administrative leave because the controller was involved in ”apparently inappropriate conversations” at the time of the crash between a small plane and a tour helicopter that killed nine people. MORE