Pubdate: Mon, 30 Mar 1998
Date: March 30, 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Author: Keith Baker

AFTER reading the article on ``Tough fight for pot clubs'' (Page 1B, March
23), it is obvious that in order to bring about necessary changes in drug
laws, it will be necessary to change them at the federal level.  Certainly,
the medical use of marijuana should be legal, but the bigger question is
the whole issue of the war on drugs.

Should the federal government be spending many millions of dollars in a
failed attempt at eliminating drugs from society? A small percentage of the
population will abuse anything, be it drugs, food or sex. Deal with these
people as medical problems. The rest of us can be divided up into modest
users and abstainers. Changing drug laws will not alter these ratios.

conservative elements of our population would like us to believe that
people will generally go crazy and do irrational things if not restricted
by laws. I do not think there are any statistics to back that assumption.
Given the proper amount of education, most people will do the right thing,
regardless of the existing laws. Those that become drug abusers need
medical help, not incarceration.

Since nobody in Washington, D.C., will be able to tackle this topic, it
must be a ``grass roots'' movement. Proposition 215, although beaten down,
is a start.

Keith Baker
Mount Hamilton