Pubdate: Wed, 3 Mar 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Contact:  (213) 237-4712


* California state Sen. John Vasconcellos has just touched the tip of the
iceberg of the problems with our national drug prohibition policy
(Commentary, Feb. 25). The dominant puritanical minority that controls the
Congress with coercion, fear and the politics of personal destruction has
also subverted our federal courts. After the federal sentencing commission
proposed easing marijuana sentencing, the Congress responded by refusing to
approve any more appointments to the commission. The result is that the
federal courts no longer have the guidance of the commission and thus
federal law and the nation's courts are effectively subverted.

Most judges fear rendering constitutionally consistent decisions because
these vindictive members of the Congress will censure them. While a censure
won't remove a judge from the court, it will foreclose any upward mobility
in the system. This is the judicial environment that Peter McWilliams is
subjected to. If the state of California is to save the life of McWilliams,
it should step in and take him into protective custody from the federal
prosecutors and provide to him the lifesaving marijuana that he needs to
stabilize and strengthen his body. The state should stand up to the federal
persecutors and protect their citizen from a federal government gone mad.

PAT ROGERS Allentown, Pa.

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