Pubdate: Mon, 27 May 2002
Source: Mobile Register (AL)
Copyright: 2002 Mobile Register.
Author: Mark Hardin


Each morning I read the paper, earnestly seeking news of a 30-year 
war that seems forgotten by all but those it affects directly and, of 
course, the justice system. Each night I watch the evening news, 
waiting for any news that even remotely touches on the truth about 
this forgotten war.

I wait in vain, left only to speculate as to the reason for the 
silence. Are the media so tied to government propaganda that truth is 
secondary, or are they choked into silence by corporate interests 
(pharmaceutical companies, brewers and distillers)?

The rest of the civilized world is quickly turning failed drug 
policies based on imprisonment and punishment into policies based on 
compassion and treatment, while drug users are viewed as sick and not 
criminals. Still, the United States stubbornly clings to old 
Nixon-era ideas.

In my youth, I watched as eager and courageous journalists took us to 
places of injustice and horror, and opened our eyes to truth. In my 
twilight, I can only wonder what now robs us of truth.

Hundreds of thousands of people, U. S. citizens, are affected by our 
failed drug policy every year. These people all have families, and 
they all have stories. Are we to assume, as the government would 
have, that they are all incorrigible and beyond compassion? Will the 
media always take the word of government as truth and ignore the 
cries of such a large segment of society?

Solid, socially correct examples are being set in most European 
countries and others, including Canada, after years of following the 
same futile strategies as the United States. This should be news. Yet 
how many Americans will know of these new and novel social 
experiments if the media do not inform?


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