Media Awareness Project



DrugSense FOCUS Alert #349 - Monday, 9 July 2007

On Friday, July 6, a pair of common sense Opinion items hit North American newspapers, with one being reprinted in numerous newspapers across the country. This creates an excellent opportunity for those who endorse smarter public policies for dealing with marijuana in the 21st century.

Gone should be the days of Reefer Madness - the late 1930s attitudes which have remained entrenched in federal government marijuana policies for over 70 years now.

Friday's Los Angeles Times featured an OPED authored by Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance. He emphasized the need to either offer help and appropriate treatment options for Americans with true drug problems. And he also noted that we should not waste criminal justice or valuable treatment resources on Americans who are only casual drug users without a problem.

Newman also illustrated the disparity in our society where certain people of note receive easy access for alternatives to jail - using Al Gore III, Noelle Bush and Patrick Kennedy as prime examples.

Read Newman's LA Times piece here:

Also on Friday, Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writers Group released her latest column in which she aptly notes that the younger Gore's high-profile arrest offers Americans an opportunity to get real about drug prohibition, especially about marijuana laws. MAP has over a dozen placements of Parker's column. A continually updating link to her columns may be seen here:

Please consider sending a Letter to the Editor to the Los Angeles Times sharing your personal support for Newman's OPED.

And please consider also creating a letter in response to Kathleen Parker's column and then direct it to the newspaper closest to your hometown. If you elect to write to more than one newspaper, we strongly suggest at least some modification of your message so that each newspaper receives a unique letter.

MAP has archived numerous clippings on the arrest and pending prosecution of Mr. Gore III. They may be easily be viewed here:

Letters of 200 words or less have the best chance of print unless otherwise noted in MAP headers.

Thanks for your effort and support.

It's not what others do it's what YOU do

Contact: The Lost Angeles Times

Contact links for sending letters on Parker's column are displayed in the header for each of the MAP clippings.

Learn more about how you can help deliver the messages of The Drug Policy Alliance

Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:

Or contact MAP's Media Activism Facilitator for personal tips on how to write LTEs that get printed.


Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent letter list ( ) if you are subscribed, or by E-mailing a copy directly to if you are not subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others can learn from your efforts.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list ( ) will help you to review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing efforts.

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see

Prepared by: The MAP Media Activism Team


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