Pubdate: Thu, 02 Sep 1999
Date: 09/02/1999
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Author: Thomas E. Dolan

I am interested in whether Texas Gov. George W. Bush used illegal
drugs, not because I believe his past use impacts his ability to
manage the country today, but because I wish to know if he is simply
another "do as I say, not as I do" two-faced politician ("George W.
Bush Did he or didn't he?" Aug. 25).

The drug war, enormously costly and ineffective, is kept alive by
politicians who have so convinced American voters of its necessity
that almost every politician touts a failed "get tough" policy.

Mr. Bush's comments suggest that he may have used cocaine but built a
career in politics espousing the punishment of people for doing what
he may have done.

If Mr. Bush used cocaine or any other illegal drug, it would be
fitting and consistent with the morality of his leadership if he
interrupted his run for the presidency to serve the appropriate jail

I admire New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who admitted his own college
use of marijuana and cocaine, for honestly acknowledging that he was
lucky he wasn't caught and for advocating change in our Draconian
federal laws on drug use and abuse.

Had either politician been caught using drugs in their youth, and
punished under the laws we have today, the lifelong damage that would
have been done to their promising careers is obvious.

Thomas E. Dolan,