Pubdate: Sun, 13 Jul 1997
Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)
Author: Gerald M. Sutliff

THE TRIBUNE'S editorial suggesting that we hold off from popping
our bubbliest is thoughtful and well considered. As a consequence
of the proposed (tobacco) settlement, our collective governments
(state and federal) can no longer argue that regulation of
abusable substances is unworkable. Furthermore, these bodies
cannot argue that the consumers' health is upper-most in their
minds when making policy.

The settlement ensures the survival of a major industry and
allows that industry to continue to sell its products.

Furthermore, the federal government will continue to support the
industry's efforts to sell to foreign markets, thus helping
balance our unfavorable trade balance - much like the English
pushed opium in China 100 years ago, leading to the first opium
war and Eng-land's acquisition of Hong Kong.

Implications for our government's drug war should be clear to all
but the most obtuse, fanatical or financially dependent upon it.

Gerald M. Sutliff
Walnut Creek, CA