Pubdate: Wed, 05 Jun 2002
Source: Baltimore Chronicle (MD)
Copyright: 2002 The Baltimore Chronicle and the Sentinel
Author: Mike Plylar, Richard Sinnott, and Robert Sharpe


Kirk Muse has clearly seen the belly of the beast in "Lockstep, Blind 
Politicians" (May issue of Chronicle), and ascertained, much the same as 
our ancestors concluded during alcohol prohibition, that harmful as some 
drugs may be, prohibition creates a far more deadly situation than the 
substances the government attempts to prohibit.

The problem here is not that our politicians and government bureaucrats 
don't know the truth about America's disastrous drug policy; it's that 
they've lied and distorted the facts so ridiculously that now they must 
continue the charade or our citizens will know what spineless scoundrels 
inhabit our halls of power....

The most deadly and destructive consequences involving the "War On Drugs" 
are caused by the same policies which our government officials tell us are 
for our own benefit. They lie, they cheat and then lie some more, just to 
continue the most devastating policy ever perpetrated upon the American 
people-all for the benefits it provides them and the anti-drug industry 
they've created.

Now they continue "full speed ahead," no matter the harm that results or 
the realities of the situation. They're addicted to pork, and the drug war 
is the "mother of all pigs."

Mike Plylar

Mr. Plylar writes from Kremmling, CO.
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Thanks To Mr. Muse

Thank you for publishing the excellent letter by Mr. Kirk Muse (May 
Chronicle) regarding our foolish support of the drug prohibition. Mr. 
Kirk's reliance upon historical facts and simple common sense is what makes 
his points so compelling.

Why are our politicians so blinded when it comes to drug policy? I can 
imagine only one reason: they have a vested interest, along with government 
bureaucrats, in seeing it continue because it represents unbridled 
government authority and spending.

Richard Sinnott

Mr. Sinnott writes from Fort Pierce, FL.
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Med Marijuana

The Maryland House of Delegates is to be commended for passing sensible 
medical marijuana legislation. It's a shame the Senate does not share their 
compassion for the cancer and AIDS patients who stand to benefit from 
marijuana law reform.

Not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in need, 
but marijuana prohibition itself should be subjected to a thorough 
cost-benefit analysis.

Unfortunately, a review of marijuana legislation would open up a Pandora's 
box most politicians would just as soon avoid.

America's marijuana laws are based on culture and xenophobia, not science. 
The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican migration 
during the early 1900's, despite opposition from the American Medical 
Association. White Americans did not even begin to smoke marijuana until a 
soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding "reefer madness" 

Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been 
counterproductive at best. An estimated 38% of Americans have now smoked 
pot. The reefer madness myths have long been discredited, forcing the drug 
war gravy train to spend millions of tax dollars on politicized research, 
trying to find harm in a relatively harmless plant. Meanwhile, research 
that might demonstrate the medical efficacy of marijuana is consistently 

The direct experience of millions of Americans contradicts the 
sensationalistic myths used to justify marijuana prohibition. Illegal drug 
use is the only public health issue wherein key stakeholders are not only 
ignored, but actively persecuted and incarcerated. In terms of medical 
marijuana, those stakeholders happen to be cancer and AIDS patients.

Robert Sharpe, M.P.A.

Mr. Sharpe is program officer of the Drug Policy Alliance, based in 
Washington, DC. Call (202) 537-5005 or visit 
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