Pubdate: Mon, 24 Jun 2002
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2002 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Robert Smith, Steve Walker, Albert Salgado, Alan Archuleta,
and Richard Tobias


Re "Killing off drug addicts," Your Views, June 16: I am a drug addict. I 
will be six years clean in July. I take offense at the suggestion in a 
letter that "the number of addicts who seek treatment and remain clean is 
still a very, very small number." In March of this year the Northern 
California region of Narcotics Anonymous held its 24th annual convention at 
the Sacramento Convention Center. I wouldn't call 10,000 recovering addicts 
a "very, very small number."

On any given night there are N.A. meetings filled with addicts with years 
of clean time, and also newcomers desperate to overcome the disease of 
addiction. The lie is dead; we do recover.

Robert Smith

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The question, "Should we really care if drug addicts use needles, get 
infected and die?" is a chilling reminder of the culling method Hitler used 
in his quest to build a superior race.

A society is judged by its compassion toward those less fortunate. Am I to 
assume that if a cure rate is very, very small it should be abandoned? Many 
drug addicts are that way by medical society's treatments. Are they also to 
be sacrificed? A dying drug addict can easily run a medical tab of tens of 
thousands of dollars monthly. A drug addict without hope can run up other 
totals such as murders, burglaries, assaults, child abuse and neglect.

Many drug addicts are a byproduct of war and are dealing with their reality 
the best they can. Many are even contributing members of our society. 
Should we really care? What does your heart or religion tell you is right?

Steve Walker

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Justice In Pot Case

Re "Judge overules pot jury," June 15: I support and applaud Judge Frank C. 
Damrell Jr. for ordering a new trial for the two Mexican nationals who are 
caught up in a pot growing case.

Damrell clearly understands and knows that justice is the real issue in 
this case. In contrast, the practices of the U.S. Forest Service and 
federal prosecutors appear to be self-serving and definitely not in the 
public interest.

The majority of undocumented Mexican nationals who come to America are 
law-abiding and moral people who only want to find honest work to support 
their families.

Albert Salgado

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Three cheers for Damrell for his in-your-face ruling overturning the guilty 
verdict in a marijuana growing case. This action sends a message to federal 
prosecutors. The practice of targeting marginal players in the marijuana 
trade with expensive and lengthy prison sentences will not be tolerated by 
the people of the United States.

Damrell's courageous action is just the beginning of what the Bush 
administration can expect from "we the people" in his war against legal 
medical marijuana patients. Bush's Drug Enforcement Administration storm 
troopers shut down three California medicinal pot clubs recently, leaving 
thousands of seriously ill patients without safe access to 
doctor-recommended medicine. These patients, many of them senior citizens, 
now must comb mean streets to buy their medicine.

By passing medical marijuana initiatives and committing acts of civil 
disobedience, we will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and 
our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts and 
courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.

Alan Archuleta

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The Drug War Death Penalty

Re "During last moratorium on executions, murder rate soared," Forum, June 
16: If writer Jeff Jacoby is looking for a "fluke" to explain America's 
soaring murder rate from 1965 to 1980, he should look at our failed drug 
policy. Around 1965, cocaine use started soaring and domestic meth labs 
began going into business in large numbers. The early 1970s gave us the 
crack cocaine epidemic and border-to-border gang warfare over drug territories.

Someday we will learn that prohibition brings criminal gangs, and murder is 
the common currency of gang power.

Richard Tobias

West Sacramento
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