Pubdate: Fri, 17 May 2002
Source: Newsday (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Newsday Inc.
Author: Haig Cedric Timourian


In "'Harmless' Marijuana? Don't Bet Your Life on It" [Viewpoints, May
3], John P. Walters makes a mistake common to the drug-warriors. He
compares the problems of the illegal recreational drug-user to those
of his opposite - the abstainer - rather than to those of the legal
recreational drug-user.

America's alcohol-advertising tobacco-subsidizing society has declared
war on adults using recreational drugs other than the two deadliest to
kill the inconvenient pain and unhappiness in the sanctity of their

Our very criminal "justice system" is obviously afraid that
non-alcohol/tobacco drugs aren't harmful enough without the state
multiplying their costs from pennies to twenties, from years wasted on
Cloud Nine to years wasted in hate-filled TB-ridden prison cages with
rapists and murderers, and from zero-to-five days' withdrawal to
lifelong ex-con status in a society that casually excuses its mayors'
and presidents' "youthful indiscretions" as it drugs millions of
schoolchildren daily with Ritalin and other legal prescriptions, then
imprisons those youths for "corrupting America's morals" when they
graduate to non-prescribed mood elevators.

College students who form friendships and social groupings according
to their drug of choice should not "grow up" to encage each other on
such an insane basis as America's drug-warrior policy.

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