Source: The Olympian  May 11, 1997
Letters to the Editor
The Olympian
P.O.Box 407                
Olympia, Washington, Kind Madam/Sir:

   The proposal to convert the unused hulk of the abandoned Satsop nuclear
power plant into jail facilities  strikes me as another measure of the
absurdity of the failed Drug War.

   The desperate need  for more jail cells, mostly to warehouse drug
  Prisoners Of War  calls into question the efficacy of our combat strategy
which has quadrupled our jail population since 1970 while drugs are, if
anything, more plentiful than ever. The notion of a " Drugfree America' is
as remote as ever, even if one excepts the very addictive and harmful drugs  alcohol and tobacco  which are " OK " and somehow don't send bad messages to kids.

   Hey folks, it's time to reconsider our Drug War, and appoint an unbiased
commission to study the problem so that we can have an open and honest dialog on : a) whether the war is winnable, & b)whether the damage of waging the war, especially against the most prevalent and least harmful drug of all  marijuana  is greater than 

any conceivable harm from the use of that drug
itself by responsible adults.

   These notions are not the ravings of the lunatic fringe. More & more
mainstream voices are echoing the need to reexamine the drug laws, especially those relating to marijuana.
   We all need to inform ourselves of these calls for reason from sources
such as : a) ATLANTIC MONTHLY (Apr.97,p.90; Aug94, p.45); b) NATIONAL REVIEW
(12 Feb.96,p.34); c) THE NATION (6 Jan 97, p.11); d) NEW YORK MAGAZINE (5
Feb. 96,p.23); e) THE LANCET (11 Nov. 95,p1241); f) NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF
(5Jan97,p.H1; 5Feb97,p.A27) and many others.

   If President Clinton ignores his own definition of insanity (" Doing the
same thing over & over & over again and expecting different results") with
regard to the Drug War, can we really afford to go along with him?

                                Very sincerely,

                                David L. Edwards, M.D.
                                2715 Schirm Loop, N.W.
                                Olympia, Washington, 98502
                                (360) 8667165