Pubdate: Mon, 08 Mar 2004
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Copyright: 2004 St. Petersburg Times
Author: Stephen Heath


Re: Drug war is worth the battle, letter, Feb. 29.

Letter writer Calvina Fay takes issue with Robyn Blumner's Feb. 22
column wherein Blumner discusses recent legislation which quashes
advertising that is critical of federal policies on marijuana.

Blumner was not, in fact, "calling for an end to the drug war," though
she is no stranger to discussing the war's fatal flaws. The primary
issue is whether American citizens have the right to present opinions
that differ from that of the federal government.

In the case of marijuana, over two-thirds of Americans believe that
their fellow citizens who responsibly use marijuana should not be
subject to criminal arrest, prosecution and time in jail.
Prohibitionists like drug czar John Walters and Ms. Fay believe that
any use of pot whatsoever merits a permanent criminal record. Under
the new law, the former point of view is not permitted to be spoken
via public advertising. Those calling for an end to the war on (some)
drugs, most notably marijuana, know that prohibition makes a simple
plant worth literally more than gold. The obscene profits thus
available are completely unregulated and in the control of criminal
gangs and cartels. These criminal dealers have no compunction about
marketing drugs to our children.

More important is that every marijuana possession arrest by police
(over 40,000 annually in Florida) further jams up the criminal justice
system. Thus, truly violent offenders are more likely to be released
from jail and allowed back on the streets to further damage the public.

If Ms. Fay or other prohibitionists really want to protect Florida's
children, they will join in the move to end 21st century prohibition
and put criminal drug dealers out of business. But first, we must have
the freedom to even mention the issue publicly without fear of
government censors.


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MAP posted-by: SHeath(DPFFlorida)