Pubdate: Tue, 20 Nov 2007
Source: Times Argus (Barre, VT)
Copyright: 2007 Times Argus
Author: Walter Carpenter


Is it actually legal for a governor to order the by-passing of a
county prosecutor, as Gov. Douglas did with Windsor County Attorney
Bobby Sand? Or can the governor just do whatever he or she wants in
regard to county attorneys and their decisions? If so, then what is
the point of continually trying to pretend that we are actually a
democracy? As a previous letter-writer in the Times-Argus on the same
issue said, "Windsor County prosecutor Bobby Sand has opened the door
to finally have an open, science-based discussion about "drugs" and
"drug" policy in our state." That person is right. Marijuana does far
less harm than cigarettes, for instance, which are still legal, and
which kill tens of thousands of people every year (my mother was one
of last year's statistics, dying of lung cancer caused by a lifetime
of smoking cigarettes) and cost the states excessive amounts of money
to care for people with long-term illnesses that cigarettes cause.
Yet, cigarettes are legal, while marijuana is considered an illegal
and dangerous drug worthy of jail sentences and criminal records for
its users. After all, cigarette makers do have more lobbying clout
than marijuana growers or importers.

Maybe what Sand really exposed is that someone out there is making a
great deal of money from all the people that our draconian marijuana
laws needlessly throw into the gulags while cigarette makers are
allowed by law to go on making money no matter what their body count

Walter Carpenter

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