Pubdate: Fri, 08 Nov 2002
Source: Olympian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2002, The Olympian
Author: Meril Draper


As I sit here and listen to the news, I hear way too many stories about 
violent offenders who are kidnapping, shooting, molesting and mugging. You 
can read or hear any one of these stories anytime you pick up a newspaper 
or turn on the news.

I can't help but wonder if our government wasn't so intent on locking up 
marijuana offenders, might we have more law enforcement officers preventing 
these more violent criminals from attacking anyone else?

Another story I am tired of reading and hearing about is all the services 
- -- including libraries, youth centers, sports programs, fish hatcheries, 
parks -- closing because of all the budget cuts. Then our government, in 
its infinite wisdom, adds $2 billion more to our failing drug war.

We choose to shut down libraries and youth service programs that help keep 
our youths off drugs. Then we add more money to arrest them for going to 
illegal drugs.

I am not suggesting that everybody start doing illegal drugs. I do not 
believe in the abuse of any substance, legal or illegal. I just believe we 
must take a serious look at our current drug policies.

Apparently they are not working. I have a 15-year-old nephew from Reno, 
Nev., and he once told me that he could find any illegal drug if he wanted 
to, but if he wanted alcohol it would be a lot harder to obtain.

Now what does this tell us?

Meril Draper,

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