Pubdate: Fri, 19 Mar 2004
Source: Auburn Plainsman, The (AL Edu)
Copyright: 2004 The Auburn Plainsman
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Students for Sensible Drug Policy)


Editor, The Auburn Plainsman:

Your March 11 editorial on the Alabama Sentencing Commission's
proposal to reduce marijuana penalties was right on target. These days
zero tolerance poses a greater threat to students than drugs.

According to the "Monitoring the Future" survey, more than half of all
high school seniors have tried an illicit drug.

Denying a majority of the nation's youth an education and the chance
to grow up to become productive members of society is not in America's
best interest.

Most students outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving drugs. An
arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be life-shattering.
After admitting to smoking pot (but not inhaling), former President
Bill Clinton opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism.

And thousands of Americans have paid the price in the form of
shattered lives.  More Americans went to prison or jail during the
Clinton administration than during any past administration.

As an admitted former drinker and alleged illicit drug user, President
George W. Bush is also politically vulnerable when it comes to drugs.

While youthful indiscretions didn't stop Clinton or Bush from assuming
leadership positions, an arrest surely would have.

The short-term health effects of marijuana are inconsequential
compared to the long-term effects of criminal records.

Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war,
otherwise known as the war on some drugs, should contact Students for
Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe,

Common Sense for Drug Policy
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