Pubdate: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 
Source: Roanoke Times (VA)
Copyright: 1999 Roanoke Times
Contact:  201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, Va. 24010
Author:   Michael Krawitz 


DRIVING while impaired is a risk no one should take, and losing a friend or
loved one (in a car wreck) is something no one should have to face (June 12
article "Man faces 2 years, 11 months for crash that took friend's life").

I am president of the ( Tech Chapter, National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML does not condone
driving while impaired or the use of impairing substances (without a
doctor's order) by children. Our document ("Principles of responsible
marijuana use") details how to use marijuana responsibly, a topic often
overlooked in school drug-prevention classes.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is working hard to add alcohol warnings to
the federal government's billion-dollar anti-drug advertising budget, over
strong opposition from the drug czar's office. I applaud MADD for its efforts.

It's high time this country began to assess drugs not by their name but by
their effects. Whether the substance that causes impairment is called
Sudafed, marijuana or alcohol, this should have no bearing on the
punishment for knowingly driving while impaired. What should be punished is
the level of impairment, not the name of the drug.


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