Pubdate: Tue, 16 Dec 1997
Source: Spokesman-Review, Spokane (WA)
Author: Nora C. Callahan

Two young sons of a man sentenced to federal prison for a
nonviolent marijuana violation bought an electric candle they
placed in their window. After Christmas it will not be packed
away with the other ornaments. They are "leaving the light on for Dad."

I now have one in my window, leaving it on for my brother, who
received a 27-and-one-half-year federal prison sentence for a
first-time, nonviolent drug law violation. This light is a symbol
of hope and will burn for all the drug war prisoners that have
filled our country's prisons.

The drug war has not made our country "drug free," nor has it
made our streets safer. The drug war has made us the world's
leading jailer, and nothing more.

What must the rest of the world think of a country that is more
committed to building prisons than building schools? Honest
education is the only hope for our children. The drug war has not
addressed the problems of drug abuse in our country, just ask any teenager.
Display a light of hope for sensibility and justice. Let it burn
until the government sees the light and ends the dark futility of
waging war in America. We need real solutions - not war.

Nora C. Callahan
Colville, WA