When the first physician goes to jail for recommending the compassionate
use of marijuana, Lowe's mean-spiritedness will come back to haunt him. His
contempt for the voters matches the contempt shown by the loser
politicians. If Lowe is really concerned about children and drugs, why
doesn't he speak out on the drugs that are killing our children, like
alcohol and cigarettes?
Californians for Compassionate Use
Our nation is engaged in a war which, it seems to me, ought to be ended.
This war is a war on beliefs and a war on each other. It is commonly
referred to as the "war on drugs," and we are its casualties.
It is time for us to face reality in our "war on drugs." Among the
realities we seem to be ducking are:
We are making war on plants.
We are making war on those who use these plants.
[continues 585 words]
Before starting a testing program and violating the privacy of students
who grew up expecting personal respect, legal issues be damned, there
should be a [way to] show that the testing will effectively prevent
Gerald M. Sutliff
Walnut Creek, CA
McCaffrey takes the obdurate federal position that marijuana is a
dangerous drug without redeeming attributes. Based on rhetoric alone, if
our government had the power, marijuana not only would be illegal, it would
Millions of Americans who disagree with their government assessment
support a hugh recreational market that thrives despite a half-million
arrests per year and despite an enormously expensive suppression effort
that could be labeled futile and fatuous. Those adjectives also aptly
describe the general's laundry list of complaints about marijuana, all of
which have been heard ad nauseam and refuted.
[continues 128 words]
It is clear that there are not enough policemen on the streets to do
more than man radar traps and investigate accidents. It is also clear
that, while the Police Department does an admirable job of investigating
the drive-by shootings and the deaths that result from them, there are
obviously not enough police to adequately patrol our more troublesome
I am told that 30 percent of the officers in our Police Department
work "undercover" in the drug enforcement division. If this is true,I
think it is appalling. These "undercover" officers are the ones who
sleep all day and spend their nights wearing civilian clothes while they
cruise our local nightspots trying to catch folks smoking pot or to
trick otherwise law-abiding citizens into selling them small amounts of
marihuana so they can arrest them and throw them into our already
overcrowded jails and courts.
Personally,I'd rather put our policemen out on the street to catch
murderers, rapists, muggers, and car thieves...
Arthur R Sobey
However, a prescription is essentially a letter to a pharmacist.
Under Proposition 215, a "letter of recommendation" is a communication
to state and local law enforcement agencies. How can the federal
government withdraw prescription-writing authority for writing a letter
The doctor who writes such a letter is not violating his Hippocratic oath,
nor is he prescribing in a fast and loose manner drugs which have been
proven to be harmful when used in excess. Nor would he be guilty of
"fraudulent prescription practices."
[continues 125 words]
The time has come for our political leaders to overcome their inertia
regarding medical marijuana and the decriminalization of cannabis.
Jean Chretien, please take that courageous step toward making marijuana
available to Canadians. As Theodore Vallance stated in the article, "... a
lot of gangsters and mafiosi are happy to maintain the present state of
Take, for instance, the "gateway theory" that marijuana use leads to
the use of "harder" drugs such as cocaine and opiates. By the government's
own classification marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it is among the
most harmful known. Cocaine and opiates, however, are classified as
Schedule 2, denoting them as less harmful than Schedule 1 drugs.
And how about the statements that marijuana causes cancer at a time
when newspapers everywhere, the Wenatchee World included, are reporting that
THC, in fact, does not cause cancer.
[continues 78 words]
It is encouraging to see New Scientist take once again the calm and
rational position concerning illicit drug issues. Yet asking our
governments to do the same is a request they simply cannot honor while
Substance Prohibition reigns as the policy paradigm of choice. The
Prohibition of some drugs deemed "harmful" is the root of the problem: it
has as a supporting axiom the idea that society can or should be made
"free" of these products by force, even when their dangers are quite
possibly inconsequential compared with our permitted drugs, alcohol and
tobacco. As long as Prohibition reigns, irrationality must accompany it.
[continues 63 words]
I don't envy Helen Gatewood's duty (as director of the International
Association of Alcohol Beverage Distributors Inc.) to defend her products'
"good name." However, as an American citizen, I feel it's my duty to point
out a few facts about the carnage alcohol inflicts upon our society, such
An estimated 200,000 directly related deaths per year. An estimated 2.2
million traffic accidents with alcohol involved harming 1.3 million
innocents, with over 16,000 deaths in 1995 alone.
[continues 140 words]
Though I do not know the specifics about the individual cases, I
noticed a man convicted of growing marijuana received nine months in
prison, while a man convicted of indecent exposure, involving a child
victim, only received six months.
That type of sentencing is occurring nationwide. It is sad to see that
our country has become so paranoid about marijuana that judges penalize
offenders more than those who commit sexual crimes against children.
The citizens of this country have been brainwashed by the government's
anti-drug propaganda trying to cover the mistakes it has made with its
"war on drugs." Every citizen has become a victim because our tax
dollars are being used to hold nonviolent marijuana offenders in already
We need to stop supporting the big business of building more prisons and
examine the real repercussions of the war on drugs.
Rachel E. Kurtz, Olympia
The illegal drug trade is a huge dollar producer on the world market, some
$500 billion by one United Nations estimate. Competition for franchises and
other disputes are routinely settled by violence. Innocent children often
feel forced to arm themselves for protection from their peers and the
wanton disregard for human life.
Inner cities have often been compared to war zones. Several generations
have now been raised in this atmosphere, and increasing profits guarantee
that future generations will also succumb to the temptations of easy money.
No amount of coercion will overcome this plague. Until we have sense enough
to eradicate the drug lords and their black market by taking over supply,
perhaps by doctors treating
addicts, we can only expect worse.
I expect many people will disagree with my position on marijuana. After
all, we have been conditioned to a sequence of propositions which lead
inexorably to resisting any attempts at loosening state and federal
restrictions on all Schedule 1 drugs, and it is difficult to back away from
such commitment. Quite the contrary, in fact. We seem bent on adding more
and more items to the list. Still, I dare to suggest that the government
change its course. Not only is the "war on drugs" in general an
inappropriate and ineffective solution to a problem of human motivation, but
there is also some logic in specifically decriminalizing marijuana.
[continues 823 words]
Nay, I assure you, the diversity of opinion among the 56 percent of
California voters who supported Proposition 215 is enormous.
On my own part, I have been forthright with my view on this. Yes, I
favor legal pot for any and all adults who prefer it. I also advocate
the legalization of all plants, including coca and poppies. But it would
be delusional to imagine that the current legal status of medical
cocaine and medical opiates, such as morphine and codeine, somehow makes
it more probable that coca and poppies will be made legal.
[continues 75 words]
End the practice of making criminals of medical patients who can
benefit from marijuana. Do we expect sick people in America to suffer to
further our failed Prohibition policies?
Establish a system modeled after our current alcohol regulations
which will inhibit minors from obtaining marijuana. Drug dealers who are
given the control under Prohibition have no qualms about sales to minors.
Those with business licenses to sell these products would have them.
Eliminate the billions of our tax dollars being wasted yearly
hunting down and arresting productive, adult citizens who chose to use
marijuana for recreation. Many important government programs which are
failing due to lack of funding could benefit from that money. Social
Security, for example. Make it possible for adults who chose to use
marijuana to have a regulated source which would insure quality and purity
of the marijuana they consume. Black market marijuana may contain
impurities which may pose a hazard to those who use it, i.e. contamination
by pesticides or fungus.
[continues 88 words]
Polls taken during the election campaign clearly showed that voters did not
approve of unregulated marijuana use. Listing organizations that have
failed to endorse medical marijuana does not make a convincing point as
those bodies hardly speak for every member, let alone every physician. In
addition, several have noted that cannabis shows promise as medicine and
favor more studies.
Research on immune system suppression is inconclusive and becomes
inconsequential when human patients are studied under clinical conditions.
In fact, all of the immense dangers pointed out by Evans are so far removed
from the context of the original studies that his evidence crumbles when
real- world conditions are observed.
No drug use, medical or recreational is without harm. These harms must be
examined in proper context as when one weighs the question: Do we really need
to imprison doctors and patients to send the right message to children?
John M. Koons,
So, the whole thing began in shame and to keep it all going, the shame has
had to get worse and worse.
After 60 years it appears federal authorities are willing to suspend
any of our rights and intrude without limit into our daily lives to protect
us from marijuana. Never mind how obvious it is that prohibition of any
substance as popular as marijuana cannot work. Alcohol prohibition is a
Prohibition means no control. Until marijuana is controlled like
alcohol and tobacco, the war on drugs will keep damaging us more than all
illegal drugs combined ever could.
[continues 59 words]
Will we have any rights left in the wake of the war on drugs? War on some
drugs, of course, mostly marijuana.
We and the Bill of Rights are the main casualties. Every day it becomes
clearer that a cease-fire is out of our hands. Our government does not
Government represents the money of those building new prisons, selling
drug-testing kits, selling legal drugs, even the organized criminals
pouring illegal drugs into our country. Drug profits are astronomical,
enough to buy all the political influence it takes to keep the war on drugs
going until there are few survivors.
[continues 87 words]
Some years ago, Americans, optimistic about the War on Poverty,
cringed at the suggestion that the growing welfare bureaucracy might
actually be creating problems despite its sincere efforts to solve
them. There's a parallel here. Instead of expanding our notoriously
ineffective drug control bureaucracy, we'd do better to reform it
based on insights we've gained from welfare reform.
Eighty years of bureaucratic drug interventionism has resulted in more
social problems, not fewer. Per capita non-medical drug use in
19th-century America was about the same as today. But there was no
gang violence because the market was legal. Drugs of low potency were
popular; the druggist on Main Street had no need to concentrate the
drugs for compactness in smuggling. No big money changed hands.
Unhappily, some troubled souls became addicts. An imperfect but
undramatic situation prevailed.
[continues 502 words]
Once again we hear of starving refugees. Once again the world's governments
and the U.N. ignore a vital food supply - easy to grow, 2 to 3 crops a
year, grows almost anywhere, no pesticides or artificial fertilisers.
For thousands of years much of the human race survived from cannabis seed,
using it to make gruel and bread. Today the plant is banned almost
everywhere, seemingly because those in power do not want people to get
high. The many medicinal uses of cannabis are similarly ignored.
[continues 83 words]
The ridiculously out-dated 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is patently not
stopping the great British public from consuming ever greater quantities by
criminalising their use ("Trainspotting: the reality". 13 February).
The new Home Office report demonstrated that government policy is giving
3600m per year to violent criminal gangs in London alone every year. I
propose the Government legalise cannabis, tax it, and use the money to
subsidise proper education and harm-reduction campaigns against hard drugs.
Though the public has accepted that drug-taking is as common place as, and
safer than, many legal activities, the Government continues in its futile
War on Drugs, denying any debate - even on the subject of medicinal=
We have set it up and now we will have to try riding out disaster.
We could be using alternative fuel were it not for the power of Big
Oil. The United States was the only industrialized nation not to sign the
pact for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. How will we explain this to our
kids when weather becomes one of our biggest killers? Maybe there will be a
few of them to ask questions.
Big Oil is also the major player in keeping hemp from the people.
Food, fuel, oil, paper, fiber, medicine - countless natural hemp products
would cut into profits of Big Oil's pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals,
synthetic fiber and motor fuel empire.
[continues 86 words]
In the midst of the stupendous failure of the drug war, a miracle has
occurred: Some 35 million Americans have quit cigarettes, acknowledged as
one of the most addictive substances known to man. How in the world could
this have happened without laws prohibiting the possession and sale of
nicotine? Could it be that we are capable of helping ourselves and
"choosing life," without the threat of fines and incarceration?
We cannot continue to expect laws and law enforcement to solve all our
problems. They merely exacerbate the reasons people use drugs in the first
place. We need to place more responsibility upon ourselves, and our
children, along with compassion and above all, communication. We need to
put down fear and hysteria and accept that some people will have to learn
their own lessons. Out of this may come a safer, saner, happier world,
drugs and all.
Randall Vlahos, 44
The Oct. 4  guest column by Charles Davis titled "Tough drug sentences
best solution to problem" quietly begs for argument.
Mr. Davis leaves two assumptions unstated, much less examined. The first is
his own posture on "drugs," and the second is his idea of a solution.
A headline in a later edition of the Daily News read: "Drugs show promise,
doctor says." Our dilemma is clear. In our society we have drugs and we
We are not at war with drugs. Our national drug industry is an economic
elephant, not just in North America but around the world. The drugs they
make are the ones sold over the counter or by prescription at drug stores.
We see and hear their version of this word constantly, and we pay it no more
attention than we do noises about other things we don't want.
[continues 800 words]
Colin Ramsay (Letters, 14 Feb) says there seems to be no learning
curve in the matter of drugs control. I agree; I despair to see people
repeating these myths as facts.
If there are mental hospitals full of cannabis victims, why did
the Lancet say in 1995: "The smoking of cannabis even long term, is not
harmful to health"? Even the DEA has stopped most of these unfounded
The reason the Egyptians made these claims was to protect their
cotton crop against hemp which was about to become a very viable
alternative due to the invention of a new harvesting machine in 1937.
It is incredible that many people still believe that old "reefer
Mr. Krauthammer apparently believes that the only politically correct
AIDS patient is a skeleton, wasting away as death approaches. Mr.
Krauthammer is offended by the sight of healthy AIDS patients who remain
healthy only through the daily use of marijuana. "Not fair" he says.
Those with a desire to be better informed than poor Mr. K should read
"Research Findings on Medicinal Properties of Marijuana" by Kevin Zeese
Esq. Over 70 studies document the efficacy of marijuana as medicine. The
report, published in January 1997, is the most recent and most complete
document of its kind to date.
Arthur R Sobey
Corpus Christi, Tx.
Marijuana should be taken from the list of Schedule I substances that
doctors are banned from prescribing or even experimenting with. Instead, it
should be listed as a Schedule II controlled drug that may be legally
administered to relieve pain and suffering.
After all, the Federal Institute of Drug Abuse has it's very own research
marijuana field somewhere in Mississippi.
By the time Reagan took office, there were 25 people in the FDA's
compassionate use program and the government was, and still is, engaged in
harvesting cannabis and shipping it off to a former tobacco plant in North
Carolina. There it is processed into cigarettes and mailed off to doctors
who distribute the pot to patients.
[continues 98 words]
It seems to me that parents who force their kids to submit to urinanalysis
have more problems than drugs in store for them.
Parents who show such disrespect for their children are likely to wind up
breeding contempt for themselves. That contempt, in turn, may lead to the
very thing the parents are testing for: drug use by their children. Yes,
urinanalysis could be a gateway to drugs!
Why not just try to communicate with children instead?
Santa Monica, California
All Americans are indebted to the voters of Arizona and California. Their
state initiatives last year began, in essence, with the simple request that
medical marijuana be made available under the same terms as morphine and
cocaine. Other, less publicized actions expressed the voters' desire to
focus on violent crime and end the rash of incarceration for mere
possession. The large margins of victory and the remarkable response of
the federal government, replete with lies, character assassination,
contempt for voters' intelligence, and threats against states and doctors,
are allowing the nation to see the rotten core of the federal monopoly on
drug policy and a glimpse of a better way to fight drug abuse.
[continues 727 words]
Prohibition is the reason that kids have access to pot, cocaine, LSD and
heroin. Un-controlled distribution of these drugs is unacceptable.
Krauthammer wants us to be honest about marijuana. I do too. Marijuana is
medicine. Dr. Jerome P. Kassirer made this clear in his editorial in the
New England Journal of Medicine.
One of the chemicals in marijuana (tetra-hydrocannabinol) is prescribed by
doctors. The dronabinol pill doesn't always work as well as marijuana. I
say let physicians choose the best medicine for their patients.
We are told by the federal government that there are no medicinal uses for
marijuana, but that its medical uses are found in pill form. One of these
statements must be false! When is the government going to allow research to
be done to answer the questions of cannabis' medicinal value?
There is much information on medicinal cannabis at
http://www.druglibrary.org. I suggest people read the existing
research for themselves.
A H Clements
In the opening paragraph of his story, Scott Canon stumbles badly. Scott
says "No doubt, pot dulls the senses". This statement is true and false at
the same time.
A fact of life at rock concerts the last 30 years has been the overwhelming
presence of pot. The odor of marijuana, drifting over the crowd, is a smell
that can't be mistaken. The reason, as any concert afficionado will tell
you, is because music sounds better when you're high on pot. Pot smokers
have a heightened awareness of musical sounds, not a dulling of the sense
[continues 90 words]
McCaffrey has repeatedly referred to the importance of science over
ideology and that is exactly the point. Our drug control policy has always
been based on the pure ideologies of ignorance, irrational fear and racism.
It is no wonder the people fought for and won the repeal of alcohol
The medical marijuana initiatives in California and Arizona are the
people petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.
None was "duped" into voting for the initiatives; the people weren't
afraid to speak their minds on a federally taboo issue, but the government
just remains unwilling to listen to them.
The maxim, "truth is the first casualty of war", is particularly true in
the War on Drugs. A prohibition, accompanied by harsh sanctions, is a sure
stifler of truth.
Mary Mitchell spoke from her heart in her courageous column. While I
applaud Mary, I don't condemn those who are silenced by fear of
imprisonment, job loss and public ostracism. Protection of self and family
must come first for most of us.
Predictably, the imprisonment of tax paying pot smokers and the destruction
of their families has failed to show any success in halting the flow of
drugs to school children. Zero tolerance "reefer madness" propaganda has
also failed. When intelligent teens, like Marys son, seek out authority
figures for guidance on marijuana, they are entitled to the same truths
they are taught in Math or English.
Arthur R Sobey
Judge Nieto obviously wants to make it impossible for anybody to
serve on a jury that doesn't agree with his misconceived notions of
justice. After Nieto's verdict is overturned, this loony son of a bitch
should be impeached and tried for obstructing justice.
In order to carry out this tyranny, Nieto had to deny Kriho a jury
trial, which is exactly his intention in every case that comes into his
court. Nieto seeks to nullify the jury system by prejudicing the
jury-selection process so that only those who believe in guilty until
proved innocent can serve.
[continues 61 words]
I am surprised however that Dr Oliver, is so entrenched in his position,
and seemingly unwilling to read the scientific evidence.
Drug tests are notoriously fallible, and false-positive results are
common. Drug test companies own literature admits that the false
positive rate using proper laboratory practice is around 5%. Add into
that bad sample management and laboratory practice and the rate of false
positives could be as high as 20%.
Also drug tests tell more about a person than just use of illegal drugs.
An employer can find out whether a person is pregnant, or taking
prescribed drugs. Unscrupulous employers may turn people down for
employment because their medical condition may prove expensive in
[continues 162 words]
I'm sure I wasn't the only one who noticed the ironical juxtaposition of
your January 22 articles concerning the cannabis seizure in Blenheim and
the quaint era of alcohol prohibition in Southland.
Is there any doubt that someday an article will appear in The Dominion
concerning the "bad old days" of cannabis prohibition?
The story on Southland's prohibition era notes: "Many otherwise law-abiding
folk refused to obey the no-drinking law, and clandestine distilling reached
its peak." Sound familiar?
[continues 102 words]
If we taxpayers were willing to subsidize these addicts with good, cheap,
clean dope and safe needles, we could save a bundle and help make the
streets safe, cleaner and better. In such a case then SSI, if it were
reinstated, very possibly could support these people and keep them from
mugging, stealing and trading sex for drugs and drugs for sex. If the
insanity of their everyday lives were lessened, some might find enough hope
to seek help with their addictions.
That's a lot of "ifs." But what could be worse than the hell MacDonald
describes, for The City and its inhabitants?
Gerald M. Sutliff
The adjective "clueless" could be applied most appropriately to the federal
government for its insistence that criminal prohibition is the only
possible approach to drug problems. "Clueless' also fits MacDonald for
THOMAS J. O'CONNELL
I too hope that Noel Gallagher's comments will lead to a sensible debate on
drug policy and agree with Paul Shurey's suggestions that hysterical media
and political responses currently prevent us from doing so (31 January
-Comment and analysis). However I would like to point out that it is not
only *young people* who use illegal drugs, although most media coverage
would have us believe this.
In fact a recent government report "Drug Misuse Declared" indicated that
professionals living in smart urban areas are the biggest users of
illegal drugs. The highest level of drug taking in the 19 - 59 age group
was found in households with an income of more than #30 000 a year. One
wonders how many Members of Parliament could truthfully declare that they
had never used illegal drugs.
[continues 126 words]
Your editorial is timely and makes good sense. Attorney General Lungren
efforts to regulate card-rooms are meritorious. You state he wants, "bring
controls to this form of gambling that poses an easy target for money
laundering, loan sharking and other crimes." You not further that the
states 203 card rooms operate unchecked. No one oversees that clubs
operate legally" and you end with, "Californians should be able to rest
assured that those establishments operate within the law."
Oh, were it so that Mr. Lungren could apply this logic to the "medicinal
marijuana" operations. For an excellent example of how this might be done
he should call his counter part in Boston, MA and learn how Governor Weld
and the state are trying to regulate medicinal marijuana in a way that
assures proper use for medicinal effect while protecting its states doctors
from the federal government over reaching ban on the substance to which
Californians have demanded access.
Very truly yours
Gerald M. Sutliff
Concerning your front page story on 2/3/97 "Ban on gay 'marriages' hot
issue at Capitol". When will legislators and lawmakers learn that they
cannot legislate morality. A ban on (prohibition of) gay marriages will not
work. Prohibition of anything, whether ideas or substances, has not, and
will never work in the U.S. Prohibition in the U.S. only hurts the very
people that the legislation attempts to protect.
Alcohol prohibition didn't work in this country in the 20's because black
marketeers didn't then and don't now ask for ID, they only ask for money,
and lots of it.
[continues 301 words]
I applaud the Saturday, Feb. 22 New York Times editorial
advocating federal funds for clean needles. In honor of Black
History month, it is important to fill in the part of the story
that has to do with race and ethnicity. The death and suffering
from the injection-related AIDS epidemic is falling mainly on
African Americans and Latinos. Over 70 percent of all
injection-related AIDS cases have occurred among African
Americans and Latinos, although those groups together represent
about 22 percent of the American population.
[continues 134 words]
Until we take necessary steps to take the obscene profits out of drug
trafficking, drugs from Mexico, Nicaragua and elsewhere will keep coming.
GERALD M. SUTLIFF
Walnut Creek, Calif.
If that's the standard, let's apply it to America's two most common
pleasure drugs, alcohol and tobacco. If tobacco was subjected to FDA
scrutiny it would be a Schedule I drug, prohibited just like heroin because
it is extremely addictive and has no medicinal value.
Alcohol would join cocaine in Schedule II, having some medicinal value but
still having enough potential for abuse to warrant full criminalization if
used for recreation.
This points out the hypocrisy of America's drug enforcement system. The
recreational drugs endorsed by the majority have been exempted from the
scheduling standards that harshly criminalize users of drugs like
marijuana. Marijuana is currently used by about 20 million Americans and
has been used at one time or another by 50 million others, including our
president and House speaker.
All drugs should be subjected to the same standards of criminalization
determined by a factual review of their potential for causing harm. Equal
protection under the law demands that America's double-standard must end.
One of the prime reasons that the Drug Enforcement Agency and its fellow
drug warrior organizations are striving so desperately to block the
approval of medicinal marijuana is that if marijuana does become accepted
as a valid medicine it will have to be reclassified from Schedule I (too
dangerous for physicians to prescribe) to Schedule II (available for
doctors to prescribe).
It would then be possible for any physician or medical institution to do
the unbiased, objective research that has been blocked so effectively by
the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the DEA for all these years.
[continues 101 words]
Indeed, the actual number of deaths is probably closer to 50. Nevertheless
your editorial calls for a sort of guerrilla warfare against the drug.
The estimates of deaths attributable to tobacco and alcohol in the European
Union are 500,000 and 150,000 annually. However, this does not lead us to
engage in a war on tobacco or a battle against alcohol. A recent
consultation paper issued by the British government proposed changes to
licensing legislation, with longer permitted hours on Friday and Saturday
nights: This states: "The government believes that people should be allowed
to spend their leisure time as they wish, provided they do not unreasonably
harm others' interests , and should not be prevented from doing so by
unnecessary government interference."
[continues 64 words]
Ever since the crackdown on bulky cannabis products, the black market has
switched to other less detectable substances. By keeping marijuana illegal,
governments have allowed more dangerous substances to flood the market.
Another reason why young Europeans have turned to Ecstasy and other
mind-altering illegal substances is that they have long discovered that the
official statements about cannabis are mainly untrue.
Media Awareness Project Europe
The strategy of targeting street trade and small-time users has been the
cornerstone of Swedish drug policy since 1980. The result is that drug use
is exploding uncontrollably in Sweden. Despite Europe's most repressive
drug laws, the police and authorities are powerless to stop it. Prohibition
has failed. The only way we will ever control drugs is through
legalisation, regulation and taxation.
Perhaps you could persuade Bigelow to do another column on prohibition.
Richard Nixon's attempt to teach pot-smoking hippies a lesson by outlawing
marijuana in 1970 have led this country badly astray. The War on Drugs,
started in 1972 by Nixon, has led directly to the largest black market in
history; larger than even the ill-fated prohibition of alcohol in the '20s.
The real gateway to hard drugs isn't marijuana. To paraphrase Bill Clinton,
"It's the Prohibition, stupid."
Arthur R. Sobey
Corpus Christi, Texas