Pubdate: Sun, 25 Aug 2002
Source: North County Times (CA)
Contact:  2002 North County Times
Author: Barbara Morse


The Aug. 12 front-page story "Sheriff's Task Force hunts down pot," prompted
me to write the letter I've been composing in my head since the cause of The
Pines fire in Julian was announced.

There seems to be a message in The Pines fire, which caused billions of
dollars of damage, loss of homes and property and animals. Why? Why are we
still fighting this age-old marijuana war? For 40 years I have watched,
observed, followed this war as a bemused (not amused) bystander. I don't
grow it, buy it, sell it or smoke it, but I know there are lots of people
who do. I'm a law-abiding, 72-year-old widow, but it just doesn't make sense
to me to put so much emphasis on a product that, from the reports I have
read and heard about, not only is not very harmful, but has positive medical

People have been put in jail for selling and possessing marijuana; their
privacy has been invaded in the task force search for marijuana; billions of
taxpayer dollars have been spent on the war, to say nothing of time and
energy of task forces such as the sheriff's and the National Guard
responsible for The Pines fires.

Was this fire necessary? Is this war necessary? Don't we have other things
more important to spend our time, money and energy on? Could we possibly
turn this around and see the positive value of marijuana, and make peace? Is
there a lesson, a message here? 


Valley Center
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