Pubdate: Sat, 27 Nov 1999
Source: Times-News, The (ID)
Copyright: 1999 Magic Valley Newspapers
Contact:  P.O. Box 548, Twin Falls, ID 83303
Fax: (208) 734-553
Author: Bill Chisholm
Note: Kathy's new website is at:


In the land of the free and the home of the brave, few are. Add to
that list the name of Kathy Tadlock, who, despite the threat of a
prison sentence, spoke her truth and belief in the medicinal benefits
of marijuana. False contrition might have gotten her a less-harsh
sentencing recommendation from the prosecuting attorney.

As I sat in the courtroom both during portions of the trial and at the
sentencing hearing, I thought how sad the whole scenario was -- what a
waste of time, of lives, of money, brought about by an illogical and
possibly unconstitutional ban imposed on us all because of the
prohibition of marijuana.

The benefits of hemp and marijuana far outweigh any perceived

The war on drugs has created more criminal activity than it has
stopped. Prohibition creates a climate in which underground criminal
activity thrives. It doesn't do so well in the light of day, in a free
society that deals with its problems through open debate and honest
discussion. The whole drug hysteria stifles that kind of debate.

The driving force behind the criminal activity is not the drugs
themselves but the money that goes with their being illegal.

Few politicians have the vision and courage to speak out on this.
Govs. Johnson of New Mexico and Ventura of Minnesota are two
politicians that are putting this issue on the table for public debate.

Several states have passed medical marijuana initiatives and several
states are looking at industrial hemp. It is time to come out of the
Dark Ages.

I won't pretend that there are not serious problems that exist with
drug abuse, but I don't believe they are any more serious than the
abuse of children, of spouses, of the environment. Abuses of economic
and political power are far more costly and detrimental to society
than an individual's abuse of drugs; in fact, they are contributing
factors for drug use and abuse. We don't need to create a police state
to solve our drug-related problems. Open discussion and compassion
will go much further than courtrooms and incarceration. Let's take on
this issue of abuse; we will make far more constructive gains in
creating a just and free society.

Bill Chisholm
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