Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2001
Source: Kimberley Daily Bulletin (CN BC)
335 Spokane Street, Kimberley, B.C., V1A 1Y9
Fax: (250) 427-5336
Contact:  Article:
Authors: Harry D. Fisher & Danny Terwey


Few people will disagree with Gerry Warner when he writes that smoking pot 
is not good for young people during school hours.  The fast-packed and 
fast-paced classroom experience does not lend itself to the contemplative 
state that is the effect of pot.

The whole point of marijuana, and other psychoactive drugs such as 
mescaline and LSD, is the subjective experience of an altered 
consciousness.  We may hear or see the same things, but the interpretation 
changes; we are able to see things with different eyes, as it were.  This 
is not intellectual and sensual impoverishment, but enhancement.  However, 
consciousness alteration is not for all situations.  Whenever intensive, 
concentrated and goal-directed efforts are required, the conventional 
consciousness is best equipped for the task.  But those types of activities 
do not constitute the totality of our lives, there are many other, 
non-striving interests that can be greatly enhanced by marijuana. 
Hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and mescaline can cause mental states where 
time becomes irrelevant.  Therefore, in order to use these drugs, one must 
plan ahead for the proper time, in a way scheduling the different 

Most people who use drugs are able to integrate these consciousnesses into 
their everyday lives without any damagae.  (The greater potential damage is 
the legal status, obviously.) Unfortunately, drug war journalism has evoked 
an image of drug users as pure Skid Row, with broken families, 
prostitution, shooting galleries littered with needles, and derelicts who 
eventually will be rolling in the gutter with vomit on their pants.  When 
seen that way, who would not rush to the rescue one of these unfortunates 
and remove the cause of their suffering?  But that's only one segment, a 
very small one, of the spectrum of drug use.  Just like most people can 
drink beer and wine and, on occasion, hard liquor without "ruining their 
lives", most users of consciousness-altering drugs are "responsible."  A 
little more nuanced reportage wouldn't hurt.

Harry D. Fisher Woodland Hills, CA

Gerry Warner's comments on the marijuana prohibition were sound, for the 
most part.  I agree with the need to discourage recreational drug use.

However, I vehemently oppose militant methods of coercion.  It seems that 
Warner is willing to accept that status quo, even while describing the 
hyprocrisy of the situation.

In reference to alcohol, the author wrote "How did such a dangerous drug 
ever become legalized?"  Critical readers know that virtually everything 
starts out being legal.  The attempt to crimianlize liquor led to civil 
war.  In retrospect, it was our first drug war.

Warner believes that "Pot may well be decriminalized some day, but that's 
several years down the line yet."  Why is that?  Why shouldn't marijuana be 
decriminalized this year, if it is just?

Danny Terwey
Santa Cruz CA
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