Pubdate: Sat, 01 Apr 2000
Date: 04/01/2000
Source: Massachusetts News (MA)
Author: Neal Smith

Editor's Comment: Many people in Boston are disturbed that the Libertarian
Party participates in the marijuana rally that is held on the Boston Common
every year and encourages the use of the drug by teenagers.

They wonder whether the Libertarians 1) merely advocate the freedom of
adults to use any drug they choose or 2) whether they are also saying
that marijuana is harmless. So we commissioned this debate.

The answer turns out to be that the Libertarians do not believe that
marijuana is much of a problem.

We asked Prof. Miron to write an article for us that appeared in the
February issue. He basically said that marijuana is minimally dangerous.

Therefore, we have apparently reached the conclusion that the
Libertarian participation at the marijuana rally is not just for the
freedom to use any drug, but also to dispel any belief that marijuana
is dangerous. We have received many letters from all over the world on
this subject.

We cannot print them all so we will limit this to two of them. We had
hoped to limit the discussion to the marijuana issue which has
disturbed so many, but many letters have mixed the two issues of
freedom and marijuana into one as this did. The letter from the next
reader is more about the issue of marijuana. We have offered Prof.
Miron the opportunity to respond on the issue of marijuana.

Studies Compared to Gutter Science

I take note that the detractors from Professor Miron's refutation of
George Biernson's statements regarding the harmfulness of marijuana
quote U.S. government conducted or funded studies.

Many of these studies, it has been repeatedly proven, fall into the
category of "gutter science." For several decades the federal
government has lied about marijuana. Trusting the statements of Donna
Shalala or Barry McAfferey is demonstrably wrong. I also note that the
government, which has a vested interest in keeping marijuana illegal,
likes to ignore studies commissioned by the government that do not
support their silly ideas.

The Shaffer Commission Report, commissioned in 1972 and the more
recent Institute of Medicine report that handily shot down the
"Gateway Theory" come most readily to mind. Marijuana, essentially
made illegal in 1937, was the scapegoat in which petrochemical
businesses, their financial backers and out-of-work alcohol
"prohibition" bureaucrats used to keep the industrial uses of hemp out
of the marketplace. Now that we face another potential fuel crisis,
the government has to hustle to keep up their facade.

With the help of Ms. Lea Palleria Cox, M.A.T. President, Concerned
Citizens for Drug Prevention, Inc., Massachusetts Delegate, Drug Watch
International and others of her ilk, the government can continue to
muddy the waters of truth.

The truth is that no substance, including marijuana, is harm-free.
However, as so aptly stated by DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young,
marijuana is safer than many of the foods we commonly consume.
Further, the truth is that government has no ethics nor morals and has
no problem with lying to support their position.

Those who ally themselves with government's position on drugs and
marijuana lower themselves to government's level. I caution you and
your readers: If it's from the government about marijuana, don't believe it!

Neal Smith,
Indianapolis, IN