Pubdate: Mon, 18 Sep 2000
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2000
Contact:  P.O. Box 181, 52-66 Lower Stuart Street, Dunedin, New Zealand
Author: Jason Baker-Sherman
Note: The comment at the end of this LTE is by the newspaper's editor.


YOUR EDITORIAL, "Public justice" ( ODT , 1.9.00), concerns itself with
the name suppression of the billionaire caught bringing cannabis into
this country and ends by stating that "full public justice is the
keystone of a society and the good of individuals within it". So just
where is the public justice in forbidding the sick from using cannabis
as their preferred medicine? Where is the public justice in preventing
people from eating cannabis seed to improve their immune response,
repair coronary damage and reverse cancer growth? Where is the public
justice in punishing otherwise law-abiding citizens for using cannabis
when it is demonstrably safer than alcohol, tobacco or any
pharmaceutical? Where is the public justice in allowing the oil,
petro-chemical and logging industries to take up to the brink of
global catastrophe unopposed when cannabis biomass could provide an
environmentally sustainable alternative to the use of oil, trees,
poisonous chemicals and genetic engineering?

In reality there is precious little public justice in this world when
governments allow powerful oligarchies to ride roughshod over the rest
of humanity. Four pages before the editorial the real reason for
international drug laws is illustrated in the report, "Clinton denies
drug project imperialism" (the same President Clinton who denied
smoking a joint and having sex with Monica Lewinsky). For over a
century the United States has used such laws as a means of influencing
both domestic and international politics.

If you were truly concerned about public justice you would be
highlighting the grave injustice of a shoddy, unconstitutional
cannabis prohibition enacted upon the unsubstantiated hearsay of
racist tabloid newspaper reports instead of leaving it up to
perspicacious citizens, whom you have contemptuously called "blinkered
civil liberty zealots" ( ODT , 11.5.00) to act as the public's watchdog.

Jason Baker-Sherman, Dalmore

[This argument is as much about private prejudice as it is about
public justice. - Ed.] 
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