Pubdate: Thu, 2 September 1999
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 1999 by The Baltimore Sun, a Times Mirror Newspaper.
Author: Thomas E. Dolan, Stanley L. Rodbell, Kevin Fansler


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 term.

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, Baltimore


Hypocrisy is never pretty. While Democrats have had their share, the past
few years have been particularly bad for Republicans: Representatives Bob
Barr, Henry Hyde, Robert Livingston, Dan Burton and Newt Gingrich have
revealed themselves to be leaders with feet of clay.

Now Texas Gov. George W. Bush apparently wants immunity from judgment on his
possible drug use, while he continues to sit in judgment of others.

Mr. Bush has supported Draconian criminal drug laws that have destroyed the
lives of thousands of Texans.

The time has now come for him to say clearly whether drug use and possession
are so dangerous as to warrant these punishments.

If he answers "yes" these are dangerous felonies, Mr. Bush should then be
asked why there should not be an exploration of his possible drug use and
possession many years ago?

If he answers "no," Mr. Bush should be asked why he is now supportive of
such disproportionate punishments?

It is time someone asks these questions. It is time Governor Bush answers.

It is time we learned whether he is a compassionate conservative or just
another hypocritical one.

Stanley L. Rodbell, Columbia


Texas Gov. George W. Bush was not caught using drugs, not charged, not
convicted and was therefore able to mature normally out of his "youthful

But when he signed into law a severe penalty for possessing under 1 gram of
cocaine, he made it impossible for thousands of others to do the same.

If he could mature out of his indiscretions, why does Mr. Bush deny the same
chance to others?

Mr. Bush's support for the war on drugs defines his hypocrisy.

Kevin Fansler, Havre de Grace

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