Pubdate: Thu, 05 Jun 1997
Source: Skagit Valley Herald (WA)
Author: Kevin Nelson

Decreasing funding to the National Guard for fighting the "war" on drugs
marks a measured return from the domestic paramilitary operations
increasingly opposed by Americans. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who
opposes these cuts, says that money should not be an issue. But money is
an issue when it is wasted on dangerous and ineffective policies.

Conservative estimates state that for all of the endless billions of tax
dollars spent on interdiction we are only capturing 10 percent of the
drugs flowing into our borders. Short of bankrupting our economy and
turning America into a military state where troops occupy a continual
societal presence to "save" us from the drug menace, we had better
consider rational, reasonable alternatives.

Our first step in a sane return from the "war" on drugs should be to
legalize marijuana. This would eliminate the arbitrary criminalization
of 30 million American citizens. And if you are worried about the
message this would give to children, consider that children have
consistently stated for 20 years that marijuana is far easier to obtain
than alcohol.

Public sentiment is turning against the drug "war." But Owen and the
mainstream media seem to be late in catching on to this fact.

Kevin Nelson