Since January, Sgt. Jim Henderson, vice president of
the Alabama Narcotics Officers Association, has protested the federal
government cuts to his budget on the editorial pages of many Alabama
newspapers. He claimed the cuts would make drug task forces
ineffective. When have they ever been effective? Every year the number
of drug arrests and the amount of drugs seized rises.
If the tactics employed by Henderson and other drug warriors were
working, then shouldn't those numbers be going down? Should they be
rewarded for repeated failure with more cash? Only in government does
something as asinine as rewarding failure happen. In the private
sector, they would be unemployed.
[continues 99 words]
Congress has funded our law enforcement officers well, and they have
done an excellent job. According to a recent report, 1 in every 100
Americans is in jail or prison. Because our jails and prisons are
packed, states have come up with alternatives such as community
corrections programs and drug courts in order to divert nonviolent
drug offenders away from the prison system to make room for the
Treatment for nonviolent drug offenders is more cost-effective but,
due to Congress not wanting to look soft on crime, these programs are
underfunded. We need to let members of Congress know they won't be
condemned for taking a more compassionate and cost-effective approach
to our drug-abuse problem. They need to reform the laws concerning
mere drug possession and free up more money for education, prevention
and treatment. This could lead to more money to treat all the people
with a drug-abuse problem, not just the ones who get caught.
[continues 57 words]
Letters Funding police anti-drug work not wise policy
In response to "Anti-drug effort must be funded" (March 12), I
In January, Sgt. Jim Henderson, vice president of the Alabama
Narcotics Officers Association, began protesting the federal
government cuts to his budget on the editorial pages of many Alabama
newspapers. He claimed the cuts would make drug task forces
When have they ever been effective? Every year the number of drug
arrests and the amount of drugs seized rises. If the tactics employed
by Sgt. Henderson and other drug warriors were working, then shouldn't
those numbers be going down?
[continues 164 words]
OU Associate Director of Health Promotion Terry Koons' assertion that
"smoking marijuana is more physically harmful than smoking cigarettes"
is discredited ("Depending on Whom You Ask, Pot's Harmless or
Hazardous," The NEWS, Feb. 21) since nobody has died due to cannabis
in over 5,000 years of documented use compared to over 1,000 Americans
who die daily due to cigarette use. When citizens actually ask
knowledgeable and honest people, we find out that cannabis is a
relatively safe God-given plant that should be re-legalized for
So, why doesn't Terry Koons speak the truth about marijuana's
At issue: Approval of a state petition to allow medical marijuana
Our view: The issue will go to state voters in November, but action is
wasted unless federal officials change their guidelines.
Should marijuana be legalized in Michigan for medical purposes? Voters
most likely will field that question in November and, despite sympathy
for the ill, they should just say no.
Michigan's Board of State Canvassers approved petitions Monday that
would allow patients to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for
personal use. Patients would need a doctor's approval, and would also
need to obtain a registry card to show law enforcement officials.
Despite those restrictions, about 496,000 residents signed petitions
in support. Only 304,101 valid signatures were needed, so support may
indeed be as high as the 70 to 80 percent approval claimed by some
[continues 459 words]
PHILADELPHIA -- It was an expression of regret that didn't seem to
register with the knot of journalists who came to cover the event --
an apology that deserves more than fleeting attention.
In a keynote address last week at a University of Pennsylvania
symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Kerner Commission
report on the causes of racial disturbances in the 1960s, Bill Clinton
did what many politicians find hard to do: admit he made a big mistake.
"I regret more than I can say that we didn't do more on it," he said
about his administration's failure to end the disparate sentencing for
people convicted of crack and powder cocaine offenses. "I'm prepared
to spend a significant portion of whatever life I've got left on the
earth trying to fix this because I think it's a cancer," the former
president said of the devastating impact this sentencing imbalance has
had on blacks.
[continues 512 words]
SPRINGFIELD -- The hazy path to legalizing medical marijuana in
Illinois cleared a little Wednesday when a committee on public health
sent the legislation to the Senate floor on a 6-4 vote.
The measure, sponsored by state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, would
allow marijuana card holders to receive prescriptions for medical
marijuana and the plant it grows on, thus avoiding any illegal means
of obtaining the drug.
"Our first obligation should be ensuring that our laws don't prevent
suffering patients from obtaining needed medicine -- or make them
criminals if they do," Cullerton said. "This is about the patients,
it's not about somebody abusing this law to illegally obtain marijuana."
[continues 332 words]
The bill to limit medical marijuana in the Oregon workplace died --
smothered by opposition from businesses. House Bill 3635 was a bad
bill, but the problem the bill tried to address hasn't gone away.
Under Oregon's 1998 medical marijuana law, employers don't have to let
patients smoke pot on the job. The law isn't clear, though, about what
employers may do about an employee who comes to work impaired.
A 2006 Oregon Supreme Court decision didn't clear the air. In that
case, a millwright had muscle spasms in his legs that made it hard to
sleep. He used prescription medication and then switched to medical
marijuana. He said it worked better.
[continues 314 words]
I totally agree with Bob Wood's Jan. 19th letter regarding the drug
I know what he was talking about, because I am a victim of one of
those terrorist raids.
Heavily-armed ninja-clad thieves broke into my home and robbed me.
They claimed that an anonymous source told them that I had marijuana
in my home. They went through my house as if they were at an estate
sale. They stole anything they wanted to steal. They took my wallet
right out of my pocket and stole all of my cash, and I had just cashed
my disability check. They stole my 20 ga. shotgun that I bought 20
years ago and have not used in 15 years.
[continues 312 words]
So-called anonymous surveys that rely on the self-reporting of illegal
drugs use are virtually worthless in this age of zero tolerance.
Teenagers know that honesty could result in drug-sniffing dogs in
schools, locker searches and mass arrests.
Most teenagers outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving
An arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be
After admitting to smoking pot - but not inhaling - former President
Bill Clinton opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism. And
thousands of Americans have paid the price in the form of shattered
[continues 94 words]
Last May, when two Santa Rosa men were arrested and accused of pistol
whipping a Ukiah-area woman in her home and then robbed her of marijuana,
Mendocino County experienced its third pot-related home invasion in
just 37 days. In 2007, frightened and frustrated citizens throughout the county
appeared repeatedly before the Board of Supervisors with disturbing
stories and scary examples of what is happening in residential
neighborhoods taken over by illegal large scale marijuana growers.
"We are on the verge of an 1851 San Francisco post-gold rush," said
Dennis Smart, a 30-plus-year resident of a rural area south of Ukiah,
at the Dec. 11 Board of Supervisors' meeting. "Vigilante committees
are forming. You folks sit on a powder keg. You have unleashed an ugly
parasite on this county that we can't quite get a handle on anymore.
[continues 2086 words]
To those Marc Emery Supporters. This man has been thumbing his nose at
the law for years and has gone scot free in the past. It seems to me
it's people who are using pot that are supporting his taunting of the
law. I personally feel this piece of crap should go to jail for life.
Herbert Lukings, London
Re: Americans Are Dopes On Pot
It isn't just Canadians that are outraged (Americans Are Dopes On Pot,
Jan. 16, 2008); millions of Americans also do not support extraditing
or caging Marc Emery.
As a North American Christian, it's insulting and offensive to cage
the heroic cannabis (kaneh bosm / marijuana) activist Marc Emery; not
according to just me but according to Christ God Our Father, the
Ecologician, who indicates He created all the seed bearing plants
saying they are all good on the very 1st page of the Bible.
If Canada doesn't want to lose it's sovereignty, protect it by not
allowing the extradition of Emery over such discredited law.
Further, next time elections come around, get rid of conservative
oxymoron, misnomer Christian right politicians, who support and enable
this luciferous persecution.
Stan White, Dillon, Colorado
Early this week, British Columbia MARIJUANA Party leader, Cannabis Culture
magazine editor and pot seed salesman Marc Emery accepted a plea bargain
with American authorities to serve five years, mostly in Canadian jail,
with no hope of early release. Marc Emery will serve a longer sentence than
many violent crime offenders, but the alternative would be up to 20 years
in American prisons, for not only him but also two of his closest friends
(or "lieutenants," as one paper put it).
[continues 569 words]
The drug war has been waged in a racist manner since its inception.
The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 was preceded by a wave of
anti-immigrant sentiment. Opium was identified with Chinese laborers,
marijuana with Mexicans and cocaine with African-Americans. Racial
profiling continues to be the norm, despite similar rates of drug use
for minorities and whites. Support for the drug war would end
overnight if whites were incarcerated for drugs at the same rate as
minorities. The drug war is a cultural inquisition, not a public
[continues 106 words]
Last week we lost one of our most colorful politicians, former Gov.
Lee Sherman Dreyfus. Although many commentators chose to focus on his
red vest, tax refunds and populist style, readers around the globe got
a different picture of a man they had probably never heard of before:
Dreyfus as a champion of gay rights.
According to the Associated Press headline reprinted around the world,
"Former Wisconsin Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus dies at 81; signed first
statewide gay rights law." Although local news reports tended to
downplay that historic move, we're grateful to the AP reporter, Scott
Bauer, for his description of the former guv.
[continues 103 words]
A Department of Corrections proposal to prohibit all people on parole
or probation from obtaining medical marijuana, drinking alcohol or
gambling brought stiff resistance from several groups at a rules
An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana called
the proposed ban on medical marijuana "flawed in nearly every aspect."
It is contrary to current state law, sentencing rules, and runs up
against the Montana Constitution, said Elizabeth Griffing.
"It's almost as if the Department of Corrections is trying to
obliquely regulate medical marijuana," she told a hearings officer.
"This is just an overreaching of your authority and
[continues 307 words]
Stanton Peele ("Drug Use and the Candidates," Dec. 31) writes that
"subtracting the approximately 20 million current drug users from the
110 million plus people who once used, almost 100 million Americans
have left drugs behind."
Mr. Peele's math is as poor as his approach to preventing adolescent
substance abuse. Dismissing educational programs that present
individuals ruined by drugs, he would let our naturally risk-taking
teens be risk-taking teens, just so long as they feel good about
themselves and "develop skills," whatever that means.
[continues 105 words]
The provision of stable safe housing, social supports, coun-seling, and a
regular family physician to substance-addicted people on Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside is clearly one of the most exciting and potentially
efficacious initiatives to be proposed in recent Vancouver medical care and
What is less clear is the rationale for tying these interventions to
pharmacological substitution-the core of the CAST (Chronic Addiction
Substitution Treatment Trials) initiative.
Even more troubling to us as physicians is the statement on the CAST web
site that "substitution therapy is a means of reducing the users' impact on
public order and public health until durable solutions are reached." This
is not health care, nor is it likely that it represents the goal of
[continues 273 words]
The most effective and best-studied treatment available in addiction
medicine is methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), which leads to a range
of benefits for individuals with opioid dependence and society at large.
Unfortunately, not all those with opioid dependence benefit from MMT and
there is no similar medication available for the treatment of stimulant
dependence (particularly crack cocaine or crystal methamphetamine).
The Chronic Addiction Substi-tution Treatment Trials (CAST) are planned as
a series of five scientifically rigorous, ethically sound clinical research
studies to be conducted in Vancouver to evaluate novel pharmacological
strategies for opioid and stimulant dependence.
[continues 394 words]