Pubdate: Mon, 04 Sep 2006
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2006 Amarillo Globe-News
Author: Ann Rothkrug Warnecke


Whether readers found Charles Paul Stephens' Aug. 23 guest column on 
failed American drug policy infuriating, unsettling, illuminating, 
inspiring, or all of these, his estimable work cannot be dismissed as 
filler for what Globe-News editorialist Dave Henry recently dubbed 
"the public's page for ranting and raving."

A few years ago, I attended a League of Women Voters seminar on drug 
policy. The panel included criminal justice professionals and 
representatives of the black and Hispanic communities. Concerned 
citizens gathered in a standing-room-only hall evidently because they 
considered the drug problem grave, with current policy piling on more 
problems than it solves effectively.

Were these citizens just a bunch a dopes, prisoners of vain hope that 
they might "fight dope" in a "drug-friendly" society that so 
profitably markets pills and potions, weeds and pipes - with the 
promise that pleasure can be attained, pain avoided, at all costs?

Walter Cronkite is among eminent Americans who lend their voices to 
drug law reform. Stephens' contribution is as eloquent as anything 
I've read on this subject by Cronkite and others. If another public 
meeting on drug policy is convened - and it should be! - Stephens 
merits a place on the panel.

Ann Rothkrug Warnecke

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