Pubdate: Thu, 08 May 2003
Source: Las Vegas Mercury (NV)
Copyright: 2003 Las Vegas Mercury
Author: Robert Sharpe
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project (


The Marijuana Policy Project has good reason to question drug czar John 
Walters' use of tax dollars to conduct an illegal campaign against Question 
9 ["Quit Blowing Smoke," May 1]. It's no coincidence that the drug czar 
began his nationwide reefer madness revisited ad campaign just months 
before a November election that featured numerous marijuana ballot 
initiatives, the most ambitious being Nevada's Question 9. Among the more 
dishonest ads were commercials linking the war on terror to the war on 
drugs. The illicit drug of choice in America is domestically grown 
marijuana, not Colombian cocaine or Afghan heroin.

The drug czar's misleading drug-terror propaganda may have led Nevadans to 
mistakenly conclude that marijuana smokers are somehow responsible for the 
tragic events of Sept. 11. That's likely no accident. Taxing and regulating 
marijuana would render the drug war obsolete. As long as marijuana remains 
illegal and distributed by organized crime, consumers will continue to come 
into contact with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. For obvious reasons, 
government bureaucrats whose jobs depend on a never-ending drug war prefer 
to blame the plant itself for the alleged "gateway" to hard drugs.

- --Robert Sharpe, M.P.A.

Program officer, Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C. 
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