Pubdate: Sat, 15 Nov 2008
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2008 The Capital Times
Author: Gary Storck


Dear Editor:

One of the hallmarks of the Bush administration has been creating and
maintaining its own alternate reality on seemingly most, if not all,

Continuing to maintain the legal fiction that cannabis is an evil
Schedule 1 drug with a high potential for abuse and no medical use was
one facet of this policy.

With his landslide victory, President-elect Barack Obama has both the
political capital and the opportunity to start with a blank slate. Two
statewide marijuana ballot initiatives even outpolled Obama. Michigan
voters legalized medical marijuana by a 63 percent margin, and
marijuana decriminalization passed in Massachusetts by a 68 percent
margin. Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, sponsor of federal
legislation that would decriminalize possession of marijuana
nationwide (Rep. Tammy Baldwin is a co-sponsor), depicted the current
situation as "a case of people being ahead of the politicians."

Real change means acknowledging reality, not selectively, but across
the board. It would be intellectually dishonest and unfitting for a
new administration to reject science and reality-based positions on
any issue. To continue to do so with cannabis ignores a major
opportunity to finally correct a colossal mistake that just claimed
its 20 millionth American arrested last month.

Gary Storck

co-founder, Madison chapter of the National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

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