Source: Evening News (Norwich UK) Contact: Website: http://www.ecn.co.uk/ Pubdate: Wed, 27 May 1998 POLITICIANS OUT OF TOUCH ON DRUGS I would like to reply to J. Carr's letter (May 20) "Face up to reality" about students taking drugs. It is you, J.Carr, who needs to face up to reality. The reason that some students, like so many other members of society, choose to use illegal drugs is because they realise that they do not have to follow sheep-like because some idiot tells them that it is alright to take the highly-addictive and fatal drugs nicotine, caffeine and alcohol but it is not okay to take other drugs which are equally, and often less, dangerous. This is obviously a hypocritical stance and because we are not stupid we see this. As a student myself, I discovered that some of the most prominent men in the shaping of Britain's political system believed that people should only be punished for doing things which hurt others. Being denied the right to take recreational substances, as we are this country, contravenes basic Human Rights (outlined in the 1948 UN Charter) that are intrinsic in a democratic nation. Currently the drug laws ensure certain fat cats a monopoly on substances, whilst putting people who decide to use other drugs at a greatly increased risk than if they were taken under medical advice. In reply to the question "How can students be in a fit state to study85on drugs" I would like to remind J.Carr that some of the world's greatest minds were drug users: from Abraham Lincoln to Lewis Carroll. Drug taking in society is normal. Smoking is prevalent. Most people drink tea, coffee, cola or alcohol. Today most politicians are out of touch, alienating normal members of society based on moral judgements and totally detached from the facts. Melissa Dawson. Norwich - --- Checked-by: "R. Lake"