Pubdate: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 Source: Expositor, The (CN ON) Copyright: 2011 Sun Media Contact: http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/feedback1/LetterToEditor.aspx Website: http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1130 Author: Tim Hopkins Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n169/a06.html?1160 LITTLE SAID ABOUT CASUAL USERS I want to pay a brief compliment to Russell Barth for his letter ( "Junk food worse than pot" March 12), and the courage it requires to take on even a small part of the monstrous drug war, a war with far more casualties than those claimed by the illicit drugs themselves. The mainstream media has a definite fetish for trotting out former drug users who praise their inquisitors for curing them, either through imprisonment or, more commonly, through "treatment." With intense media focus on addicts that rob and murder, unfortunately little is said about the lives of countless nonviolent drug users devastated by arrests, incarceration and coerced "rehabilitation" programs. The many deaths caused by legally (but incorrectly) prescribed drugs, and those sold over the counter, is undocumented, not to mention the needless agony of people unable to obtain a doctors permission slip or denied access to a particular drug with potential benefits because the approval process prohibits a patient from deciding on their own the effectiveness of a certain drug. Dialogue on drugs and addiction should not be geared to adapting and acclimatizing populations to the drug war and associated "rehab" industry. To be meaningful, it must address the addict, but also the casual user, and those who might be curious about drug use but fearful they will be labeled a criminal. It must dispense with the hysteria of the aggregate concept of drug use and distinguish between the effects, some relatively benign, others risky, of various types of drugs. In short, it should uphold the drug user's rights, respect their dignity, and not insult their intelligence. Unfortunately, drug warriors require them to experience themselves as ignorant, sick heretics in need of salvation. Tim Hopkins Brantford - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.