Pubdate: Mon, 12 Nov 2001
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2001 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Ray Carlson, Robert Sharpe, Pat Rogers
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Hutchinson, Asa)


I wish to disagree with one particular statement made in your medical
marijuana editorial ("Compassionate liberalism on pot," Examiner view, Nov.

It says that if the federal government tries to close the clubs, "it will
have ended an experiment California undertook in 1996 with the passage of
Prop. 215, the Compassionate Use Act."

Proposition 215 is the law because it was the will of the voters of
California. It was not and never will be "an experiment."

On the other hand, if the federal government ever successfully shuts down
the cannabis clubs, the experiment that will end is known as "democracy."

Ray Carlson

Redwood City

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IMMEDIATELY following the controversial medical marijuana club raids
mentioned in your editorial on medical marijuana, Drug Enforcement
Administration head Asa Hutchinson has been making the media rounds and
complaining that the war on terrorism is diverting resources from the war on

The $50 billion war on consensual vices seems more ludicrous than ever now
that America faces the all-too-real threat of international terrorism.

The shift in priorities didn't stop the DEA from recently raiding a Los
Angeles medical marijuana club renowned for its stringent requirements,
thorough documentation, and the inability of DEA agents to conduct sting
operations by posing as patients. The 900-plus patients who depended on the
club to help them combat nausea and keep food down will now be forced to buy
their medicine on the street.

Illicit drug use is the only public health issue wherein key stakeholders
are not only ignored, but actively persecuted and incarcerated. In terms of
the California raids, those stakeholders happen to be cancer and AIDS

Robert Sharpe, Program Officer, The Lindesmith Center Drug Policy Foundation

Washington, D.C.

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Has anyone asked the Drug Enforcement Administration how many terrorists
have crossed our borders while its agents were preying on sick and dying
Americans in California, where medical cannabis is legal?

It is galling that, as the Bush administration beefs up our borders, agents
and the newly assigned National Guard are bragging about all the drug
arrests they are making. Every agent who has to leave the border to
prosecute a drug case is one less preventing terror.

When is this nation going to see that armistice in the drug war is the
fastest way to responsibly reallocate limited professional police resources
to protect Americans from terrorism?

Can America afford these two wars?

It is beyond reason that House Speaker Dennis Hastert has lamented that
narco-terrorists have financed atrocities with drug sales, but his
congressional leadership still brings America a Controlled Substances Act
that effectively licenses the gangsters and narco-terrorists.

Pat Rogers

Allentown, Pa.
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