Pubdate: Thu, 21 Dec 2000
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)
Authors: Trey Halatom, Becci Morgan


The Nevada Supreme Court is right in recommending the reduction from felony 
to a misdemeanor for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Washoe 
District Attorney Dick Gammick's remark that marijuana is a "gateway to 
other drugs, and a first step toward other crimes," is simply not true. 
Marijuana does not lead to other drugs; nor is it an addictive substance 
that causes people to commit burglaries and theft to support the habit.

These statements by the police and prosecutors are nothing more than 
propaganda meant to justify the cruel and unusual penalties levied by the 
state of Nevada. The decriminalization of marijuana would have a positive 
effect on society by removing this herb from the control of the criminals 
who sell drugs like crack cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, LSD, etc. God 
created marijuana. It is a seed-bearing herb, not a chemical substance 
mixed in secret labs such as those that do cause addiction and abuse.

It is time to recognize the difference!

- -Trey Halatom, Reno (via e-mail)


I'm writing in response to Richard Cohen's column on drug policy.

I couldn't agree more! Our hard-line drug policy is a farce.

At its point of origin, intentions were good. We needed to get drugs off 
the streets, so let's scare offenders with stiff jail sentences. As well 
meaning as this concept was, it was born of ignorance. These offenders are 
not criminals but sick people controlled by their addictions who cannot see 
anything past getting their next fix, let alone the consequences. Don't 
think I'm condoning those who break other laws such as driving drunk, theft 
or violent crimes.

Dues for those types of crimes must be paid. But do the justice system and 
our legislators truly believe that by locking a user up they are really 
stopping their use? That idea is absurd! Clogging up our prison systems 
with users is doing nothing but causing more problems. Not only does the 
drug use continue, the offender comes away with one of two mentalities: 1) 
The consequences aren't so bad; I get fed, housed and clothed while I used 
drugs. Or 2) A life of crime is all I have left as a convicted felon. Who 
are we really helping?

Sadly, no one.

- -Becci Morgan, Reno
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager