Pubdate: Thu, 6 Jan 2005
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2005 Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspaper
Author: Dean Becker



Regarding the Chronicle's Jan. 3 editorial "Diversion/Reducing penalties 
for possession of small amounts of marijuana is a sensible idea": This 
common-sense analysis should embolden readers to contact their state 
legislators referencing the editorial as a strong stepping-stone toward 
sanity in the drug war.

The label of marijuana was used by the first drug czar, Harry J. Anslinger, 
to create "reefer madness" over a "creeping danger" infiltrating our nation 
by way of "Mexican hoodlums." Now forgotten by most is the fact that until 
1937, cannabis was sold over the counter in a dozen varieties, including 
extracts and tinctures prescribed by doctors, and was listed for 70 years 
in the U.S. pharmacopeia.

But no matter whether it was a conspiracy of media giants, a racial roundup 
to corral Mexicans and blacks or a simple scam to ensure billions in 
eternal profits for drug traffickers, the drug war is a sham - top to 
bottom and worldwide.

Our government claims we are winning the war on drugs, yet most drugs are 
cheaper, purer and more available to our children than ever before.

Thanks to the crackdown on cannabis users, the cost of this one drug is 
rising, and it can now cost more per ounce than pure gold.

Many proclaim it a great success that young people are using less cannabis 
these days, but not mentioned is the fact that they are inhaling more 
(cheaper) solvents.

Dean Becker

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