Pubdate: Fri, 03 Jan 2003
Source: LA Weekly (CA)
Copyright: 2003, L.A. Weekly Media, Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken


Thank you for running Duncan Campbell's excellent piece about the insane 
sentence given Steve Treleaven for growing marijuana. ["The Terror War on 
Drugs," December 13-19].

Alas, Treleaven is not alone. In the Sacramento area, Bryan Epis was 
recently sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for the "crime" of growing 
marijuana for a local medical marijuana co-op.

In Los Angeles, Scott Imler of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center 
faces the possibility of a similar sentence, again for providing relief to 
AIDS and cancer patients.

As for the alleged link between marijuana and terrorism, the Ottawa Citizen 
said it best in a July 18, 2002, editorial: "Why do the fanatics of the 
world zero in on the drug trade, instead of smuggling liquor or coffee, 
sugar or chocolate bon-bons? It's because drugs are illegal."

It's easy - and largely appropriate - to blame conservative drug-war 
ideologues in the Bush administration for these harsh policies. But it's 
also past time to start asking why Democrats have been so consistently 
timid in criticizing our nation's cruel and pointless war on marijuana 
users. Even alleged liberals like Barbara Boxer and Xavier Becerra have 
been missing in action.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications, Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.
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