Pubdate: 18 Jun 1999
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 1999, New Haven Register
Author: Mike Gogulski


Ariel Freedman says Khalid El-Amin should be ashamed of himself in a
June 1 letter, but I wonder why. There's no shame in smoking
marijuana, only in being arrested for it.

Considering that 76,000 other Connecticut adults admit to using the
drug every month, El-Amin isn't all that unusual for doing so. I
wonder how many of those 76,000, and how many of those unlikely to
admit their crime on a government survey, should be jailed in order to
"win" the war on marijuana. I wonder how many dangerous criminals will
go free to make room for them.

That a pot smoker can also be a champion basketball player challenges
the assumptions of the war on marijuana: that smokers suffer from an
"a motivational syndrome;" that they suffer from reduced motor
function and poor coordination; and the implicit claim that they are
no-good worthless wretches who need a stiff jail sentence to
"straighten them out."

We should be ashamed for putting Khalid, his wife, his children, his
team, and his fans through all this. In the end, what did it accomplish?

Mike Gogulski


Editor's note: Mike Gogulski is executive director of the Connecticut
Cannabis Policy Forum.

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