This was the message of a booklet passed around Utah (from a British paper):

Do the teenagers you know talk excitedly about inequality, racial discrimination or pollution? If so, according to a pamphlet doing the rounds in the United States, they may be exhibiting the first symptoms of drug addiction.

The pamphlet by Gerald Smith, a criminology professor in Utah, vividly describes these warning signs for the benefit of parents worried that their children may be regular users of marijuana and other drugs.

The affected youth may "avoid the family while at home", the 66-page booklet says, and show "excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues, etc".

In the introduction, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, a Mormon minister from Salt Lake City, thunders "a morally depraved society... has chosen to embrace, rather than attack, this plague" of marijuana use.

But the senator believes that with the help of God and Mr Smith's little book, young Americans can be led along the path to a "marijuana-free life".

So he tells parents: "Study this book... and look for the many warning signs of any children who are using marijuana or drugs of any kind."

I hear in the later stages of addiction, these people actually start to believe that gays and racial minorities are human beings, and that homeless people don't deserve to freeze to death. Sickening.

I'll be honest. I doubted this story from the time I first laid yghes on it. Of course, being the sometimes obsessive fact-checker that I am, I found Professor Gerald Smith's e-mail and asked for the free pamphlet, which I received promptly through the post. So now I am the proud owner of a very thick, glossy, high-class booklet entitled '(How Parents Can Help Children Live) Marijuana Free'

Here's the part of the pamphlet that has the offending phrase; I'll post as much as I can to provide context so that you may judge for yourself.

...There are four warning signs: (a) medical symptoms, (b) behavioral signs, (c) social signs, and (d) circumstantial evidence. Taken alone, any one of these signs may not mean much, but if your child exhibits several of these, you have good reason to suspect marijuana use.

Medical Symptoms Of Regular Users

(text about Visine use of users, and instruction on cop-style follow-the-pencil tests follows... omitted by the noder - inconsequential)

Behavioral Signs of Regular Users

Social Signs Of Regular Users

It should be noted for the record that the Ras Tafarian religion does not use marijuana in any of its rituals nor promote the use of marijuana as a spiritual tool. Ras Tafari does not condemn its use either and many, many Ras Tafarians partake of ingesting marijuana one way or another. This is what lead to the common misconception that all the Ras Tafari do is smoke dubes and play soccer which is a poor representation of their belief structure.

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