Pubdate: Sat, 14 Mar 2009
Source: Times-Herald, The (Vallejo, CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Times-Herald
Author: Paul Armentano


I'd like to thank former police offer Lyndon Lafferty for his ad
hominem attack on me on the editorial page of the Times-Herald ("Wrong
on marijuana," March 6). The prejudice and hyperbole manifested in
your letter makes a far better case for ending marijuana prohibition
than I could ever hope to.

The origins for cannabis prohibition were steeped in racial hatred
(mostly directed at Mexicans and African Americans), misinformation,
and fear mongering. Inflammatory accusations against marijuana and
marijuana consumers were typically unsubstantiated, while evidence
refuting these claims often went ignored. As evident by Mr. Lafferty's
willfully ignorant and culturally bigoted remarks, little has changed.

The criminal prohibition of cannabis is a morally bankrupt policy --
as evident by the fact that its most ardent defenders, like Mr.
Lafferty, must resort to personal attacks rather than engaging in the
civil exchange of ideas.

Today, the enforcement of marijuana prohibition remains every bit the
cynical culture war that it was 70-plus years ago. Those who wage it
on the front lines, such as Mr. Lafferty, do little to hide their
bias. As he writes, "Our laws are designed to protect people like us
from people like you." Apparently, the ideas I've expressed this paper
are so threatening to Mr. Lafferty that he feels the need to be
legally protected from them. How telling -- and pitiful.

Paul Armentano

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