Pubdate: Sat, 22 Dec 2001
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2001 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Donn Ledwick, Ray Carlson, Art Mack, Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
(Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act)


MAKING Sonya Barna out to be a heroine for her work with California's
Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (Page 1A, Dec. 17) is stretching it a
little. She has obviously found her niche in life. However, the Mercury News
article missed the point of what causes our youth to choose a path of
habitual drug use/abuse.

I lived through the '70s as a young, single man. Surviving my experience
experimenting with marijuana to become a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen is
not at all consistent with Barna's comments warning today's youth that use
of the substance will cause them to slide into aimless obscurity. It isn't
marijuana that causes a malaise in someone's life.

Show me one death certificate in California listing the cause of death as
related to marijuana consumption. What do you think her credibility will be
with our youth when eventually these children experiment with marijuana?

I understand that there are people in our society who, due to their
upbringing or religion or morals, cannot imagine that a substance listed as
a dangerous drug be anything but illegal. With laws against marijuana, one
group imposes its will on another.

The real solution is for parents and educators to give their time and energy
to the children from the time they enter school until they leave high
school. Lead by examples of good citizenship so our children see they have
the option to make good decisions about everything they may encounter. It
isn't about drugs.

Donn Ledwick

San Jose

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SONYA Barna's ideas about implementing and defending the Compassionate Use
Act are retroactive to the Dan Lungren days in California. She shows how
desperately law enforcement needs to be educated about medical marijuana and
the laws of California.

Barna thinks she's being compassionate by conceding that one plant "won't
hurt anybody'' if someone is dying of cancer. She ignores that a dying
patient has no way of tending a plant that requires habitual tending, or
that some patients may need to consume more marijuana than just one plant
will yield, which is why patients usually have to buy their cannabis.

Carrying on marijuana eradication programs like CAMP undermines the
availability of medical-grade cannabis, drives up the price of what is left
after raids, terrorizes patients, and wastes precious taxpayers' dollars.
It's time to shift our law-enforcement priorities to stopping terror, not
implementing it.

Ray Carlson

Redwood City

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YOUR story on CAMP makes it clear why marijuana should be legal. If it were
legal, people wouldn't be out there in the woods, polluting and planting.
The weed and environment would both be better off.

It's time to legalize all drugs and get them out of the control of ruthless
criminals who might not care about anything but making a buck. The citizens
of this country are getting fed a bunch of polluted drugs because our
country won't take over the job of distribution.

With the taxes from these sales, you could fund prevention and
rehabilitation programs. This system would help the user, rather than just
locking them up, and wasting lives and resources.

Art Mack

Lyons, Ore.

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SONYA Barna wouldn't have to worry about 8-year-old children being shot by
pot farmers or streams being polluted by large-scale gardens' use of
chemical fertilizers if the price of marijuana weren't so high and the
profits so lucrative.

Every time you bust a garden, you drive up the price, and increase the
natural motivation to invest in the industry. Risk creates profit. If
everyone could grow their own on their balcony, or in their backyard (for
medicinal use or not), the price would drop dramatically and organized
crime's involvement would cease. Eight-year-old kids could shoot deer all
they want, and the worst thing that would happen would be someone watching
way too much Comedy Central and eating way too much toast.

Cops and drug dealers get rich while civil infrastructure goes undeveloped.
Supply and demand have existed for thousands of years; they won't cease with
the current war on drugs. The people have spoken: We want harm reduction,
not war on our own people.

Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt

Santa Cruz
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