Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jun 2000
Date: 06/11/2000
Source: Post-Standard, The (NY)
Author: Michael Wilson
Authors: Michael Wilson
Cited: ReconsiDer:

To the Editor: To Rep. Walsh:

I was disgusted, but unfortunately not surprised, to hear that
Nicholas Eyle and Dr. Eugene Tinelli were denied positions on the
Syracuse-Onondaga Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission. It is disgraceful
that our government is willing to sacrifice free speech and open
dialogue, rights essential for a functioning democracy, to prolong a
war on drugs that was lost before it started.

The reason that I was not surprised to hear of this is a bill
currently before the House Judiciary Committee, known as H.R. 1428,
the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act. The provisions of this
bill are frightening to anyone who believes in freedom.

It is illegal under this act to teach or demonstrate the manufacture
of a controlled substance or distribute any information pertaining to
the manufacture or use of a controlled substance. This may sound like
a good idea at first, until you consider the many possible ways of
interpreting this ban on speech.

It would be illegal to warn people of possible deadly combinations of
drugs. Health teachers would go to jail for telling their students
about dangerous rave drugs that should be avoided. Medical marijuana
clubs would be shut down; newspapers couldn't print pictures or
articles on drug-ravaged people. Even fictional accounts of drug abuse
would be forbidden.

Allowing the passage of this bill would make it easier for groups like
the Syracuse-Onondaga Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission to tell people
who disagree with the war on drugs that they are not welcome. This act
is a full assault on the right to free speech and should not be
passed. The drug war must be ended so that true healing of addicts and
our society can take place.

Michael Wilson

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