Pubdate: Thu, 10 Jan 2002
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2002, The Racine Journal Times
Author: Gary Storck, Madison


After reading your editorial criticizing federal authorities for lying in 
their propaganda efforts in Afghanistan, "Truth's a better weapon in the 
information war" (Jan. 7, 2002), I could not help but be struck by the 
similarities in federal tactics used in the failed war on drugs.

In that case, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has 
been running an expensive, taxpayer-funded advertising campaign for several 
years now that attempts to curb drug use by engaging in the same types of 
hyperbole and misinformation used in the Afghan campaign.

The cornerstone of this disinformation campaign is lying about marijuana.

Marijuana is one of the most studied substances, yet all this research has 
been unable to document the claims by federal authorities that it is 
harmful. And while marijuana remains federally classified as a Schedule I 
drug with no medical uses, alcohol and tobacco are explicitly exempt from 
being scheduled, despite their high potential for abuse.

Medical marijuana is kept from the sick and dying using the excuse that 
legalizing access would send a bad message to the children. But children 
are not stupid, and can easily see the through the hypocrisy that keeps 
drugs like alcohol and tobacco legal, along with numerous prescription 
drugs with a high potential for abuse, while banning a humble God-given 
herb with 15,000 years of non-toxic use by humans.

As your editorial noted, "truth ... will serve us well". The government 
should try sticking with the truth. Credibility is a terrible thing to 
waste,whether at home or abroad.

Gary Storck

- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart