Pubdate: Thu, 24 Sep 1998
Date: 09/24/1998
Source: Woods County Enterprise (OK)
Author: Chet Olson
Note: Response from the Chief of Police in Waynoka, OK appended, headline
by MAP.

Dear Editor,

In last week's paper one letter to the editor said that "to compare
soda pop to cocaine, marijuana or any other had core illegal drugs is
ludicrous." While I did not compare soda pop to cocaine, I stand by my
statement that many legal drugs are more deadly than some illegal
drugs. In fact, I am enclosing a chart showing the results of
scientific study conducted by the government's own anti-drug arm, the
National Institute On Drug Abuse--a study backed up by a
well-respected private drug researcher. It shows--based on the five
most common problems associated with drug usage--that marijuana is not
only comparable to caffeine in its effects on the human body, but is
far less problematic than politically accepted drugs such a alcohol
and nicotine. The government study suggest that caffeine and marijuana
are about equal in the problems they create; and private study suggest
that caffeine presents a greater problems to society than marijuana.
Think about that as you sip your coffee or tea and contemplate putting
people in prison, perhaps for life, for possession of a drug like
marijuana. And remember, those of you who support that action will be
responsible for the disastrous results it will inevitable bring.

In my opinion, children should not use drugs, including caffeine. I
support reasonable efforts to keep children off drugs, but prison is
not a reasonable solution. In any case, prison does not work. What it
does is create a red herring that prevents workable solutions from
being implements. Prison is nothing more than a violent, vindictive,
let-someone-else-handle-the-problem solution for people who are
unwilling to face the underlying problems and deal with them. This
country already imprisons more of its people than any other country on
the planet. Oklahoma, the last I read, imprisons more women than any
other state in the country and is close to first in imprisoning men.
Does Oklahoma really have the worst people on the plant (or just he
most vindictive voters)? If imprisoning people works, why is there
still a drug problem in the the prison capitol of the world?
Prohibition did not work the last them and is still not working.

Chet Olson

(August 2, 1994 New York Times chart based on the work of Jack
Henningfield and Neal Benowitz, referred to in my letter, was made
available for viewing at the Woods County Enterprise)

LTE author.
Note: John Fuqua is the Chief of Police in Waynoka, Subject by MAP

October 8,1998

Dear Editor;

I don't usually respond to letters that are critical of the drug laws
being enforced, but I would like to commend Mr. Olson on his letters
of recent. First of all he has raised the awareness level of the
community in general, and we have gotten more donations for the drug
dog since his letters, so my appreciation goes out to him for that.
Also a couple of my friends who work for the Oklahoma Bureau of
Narcotics in Oklahoma City were so impressed with his letter that they
told me they were going to contact Mr. Olson and visit with him about
his concerns.

Secondly, we are still somewhat short of our $5,800.00 goal for the
dog and would greatly appreciate any amount of donations for this cause.

John Fuqua