Pubdate: Thu, 07 Feb 2002
Source: Houston Press (TX)
Copyright: 2002 New Times, Inc
Author: Robert Sharpe, Buster Jones


PAC it in: Thanks to Mr. Hale ["Grassroots Campaign," by Wendy Grossman, 
January 10]. But I wish more Americans would speak up about using pot in 
the past, even those holding office now. As for there not being enough pot 
smokers in your city to elect Mr. Hale, I would like to remind him that he 
can "get by with a little help from my friends."

That is, if Mr. Hale will get in touch with They now have a 
PAC that might throw a little green his way.

Buster Jones

Albany, Georgia


A skeptic of Stephen Hale's call to decriminalize marijuana is quoted as 
saying, "I don't personally think there's enough stoners out there to get 
somebody elected." Anyone who pays taxes has a vested interest in reforming 
marijuana laws. In 2000, there were 734,497 arrests for marijuana in this 
country, 646,042 for possession alone.

For a drug that has never been shown to cause an overdose death, the 
allocation of resources used to enforce marijuana laws is outrageous. 
Taxing and regulating marijuana is a cost-effective alternative to the $50 
billion drug war. Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of 
marijuana use and frees users from the stigma of life-shattering criminal 
records. What's really needed is a regulated market with enforceable age 
controls. Right now kids have an easier time buying pot than beer.

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. The direct experience 
of millions of Americans contradicts the sensationalistic myths used to 
justify marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe

The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation

Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth