Pubdate: Wed, 31 May 2000
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Los Angeles Times
Contact:  Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Author: Robert Sharpe,  Jean Fleming
Note: 2 PUB LTEs


* Re "Davis Fights to Suspend Licenses in Drug Cases," May 24: I think it's 
disgusting that California Gov. Gray Davis is seeking to revive William 
Bennett's "smoke a joint, lose your license" law. The law was created at a 
time when the former drug czar felt a need to "create consequences" for 
marijuana smokers. Consequences like denying them the opportunity to 
function as productive, taxpaying members of society. Enough Americans have 
smoked marijuana to know that the government has been lying about its 
alleged adverse effects for years. Make no mistake, this is not about 
protecting the health of Americans. We don't incarcerate tobacco smokers, 
skydivers, alcoholics or people with poor diets. Marijuana prohibition has 
always been political.

Davis is making the same mistake as Vice President Al Gore in perpetuating 
reefer madness. By pandering to the conservative right, Democrats are 
alienating their core liberal constituency. This bleeding-heart liberal 
will not be voting Democrat come November.

Robert Sharpe, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington


It's just and fitting that anyone who commits a crime while driving should 
be punished with the revocation or suspension of his or her driver's 
license. How do we justify using a driver's license revocation as part of 
the punishment for an unrelated crime? If the idea is that the need for a 
driver's license is so important people will not commit crimes for fear of 
losing their license, then it follows that this penalty should be part of 
the sentence for any and all crimes.

It seems that this is yet another example of passing any law, no matter how 
unfair, in an attempt to cure the drug problem. Yet our drug problem 
continues. Perhaps in the near future there will be a medical cure for 
addiction. Currently we can most effectively reduce the drug problems 
through education and treatment.

I hope the California Legislature and Gov. Davis will see that this law 
does more harm than good and will let the federal government know that we 
cannot be bribed or threatened into enacting bad laws.

Jean Fleming, Studio City
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