Pubdate: Wed., 25 Aug 1999
Source: Times-Journal (Cobleskill, NY)
Contact:  (518) 234-7879
Address: P.O. Box 339, Cobleskill, NY 12043-0339
Author: Walter F. Wouk 
Note: Walter F. Wouk is president Capital Region NORML, NY


If you use marijuana the Republican Party thinks you belong in jail.

The Republican Party's national platform on drugs states that "We support
strong penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences, for drug
trafficking, distribution and drug-related crimes.” That’s smoking pot
folks. The platform also says the Republican approach includes "no
legalization” and especially, no talking about legalization.

New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson, has incurred the wrath of the Republican
establishment because he dares to criticize the “war on drugs” and because
of his support for lifting criminal sanctions for marijuana possession.

Johnson said he believes there isn't another governor, member of the U.S.
House of Representatives or a U.S. senator talking about decriminalizing
drug use as a way to refocus the war against illegal drugs.

And don't expect the Democratic Party to speak up for your rights. They've
been cowed into quiet acquiescence by the fear of appearing “soft on
drugs.” They've proved that they are more than willing to sit in silence
while, each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are routinely
persecuted for using marijuana.  According to 1997 FBI data, roughly
695,000 Americans were arrested for possession of marijuana.  That figure
is expected to exceed 700,000 this year.

According to Republican Party philosophy you can drink yourself into a
stupor or pop prescription pain pills until the next millennium; and that’s
o.k.  But come home after work and light up a “joint” and you’re a criminal
who belongs behind bars.

There is no one in the political establishment who can defend the notion
that adults, who engage in the moderate use of marijuana, are a threat to
society.  That’s why they don't want to talk about it -- and that’s why you
have to hold their feet to the fire.  Contact your elected representative
today and make them talk.

Walter F. Wouk - president Capital Region NORML

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