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101 US WA: PUB LTE: Why To Legalize Marijuana[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Skagit Valley Herald (WA) Author:Lentz, Eve Area:Washington Lines:48 Added:03/01/1997

2. Ask how many marijuana-smoking drivers and passengers they treat in an average day from car accidents.

3. Have you ever read in a newspaper of drunk drivers killing people in car accidents?

4. Have you ever read in a newspaper of marijuana-smoking drivers killing people in car accidents?

5. Have you ever heard about anyone who has ever died from smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, taking aspirin?

6. Have you ever heard about anyone who has ever died from smoking or eating marijuana?

[continues 170 words]

102 US WA: PUB LTE: Re: Voices Of The Valley[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Skagit Valley Herald (WA) Author:Harris, Gretchen Area:Washington Lines:17 Added:03/01/1997

Hemp has an enormous future potential. Henry Ford knew it, Thomas Jefferson knew it, George Washington knew it and now all your readers know it too. It is too valuable to waste and if we remain ignorant we will not be able to compete. Germany is at least five years ahead of us. Thank you again for your time.

Gretchen Harris, president Cascade Hemp Supply Inc. Vancouver, Wash.

[end]

103 US WA: PUB LTE: Well-Written And Informative[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Skagit Valley Herald (WA) Author:Sutliff, Gerald M. Area:Washington Lines:10 Added:03/01/1997

Gerald M. Sutliff Walnut Creek, Calif.

[end]

104 US TX: PUB LTE: Corruption Problems[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Corpus Christi Caller Times (TX) Author:Sobey, Arthur Area:Texas Lines:28 Added:03/01/1997

Before we start lobbing too many rocks in the direction of Mexico City, Americans need to take stock of our own corruption problems related to the prohibition of marijuana and the War on Drugs.

The CIA, DEA, INS, FBI and the police departments of every major city in this country, and most smaller ones, have already been corrupted by drug war money. The degree of corruption, slowly emerging, shocks most Americans who have forgotten all the lessons associated with prohibition, corruption, and crime.

[continues 77 words]

105 US WA: PUB LTE: Open-Minded View[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Skagit Valley Herald (WA) Author:Burke, James Area:Washington Lines:11 Added:03/01/1997

James Burke Renton

[end]

106 US WA: PUB LTE: Led Me To Further Education[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Skagit Valley Herald (WA) Author:Potts, Jason Area:Washington Lines:19 Added:03/01/1997

In light of all the excellent characteristics of this plant, it seems heavy-handed and self-serving to continue the ban based on a prohibitionist war waged against our people for more than 60 years.

The main reason that marijuana was made illegal was due to the excellent material that could be made from hemp. A textile mogul with political ties funded the "reefer madness" campaign and eliminated his competition. Reference: "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," by Jack Herer.

Jason Alexander Potts Blue Springs, Mo.

[end]

107 US TX: PUB LTE: Legalize Drugs[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Corpus Christi Caller Times (TX) Author:Potts, Jason Area:Texas Lines:19 Added:03/01/1997

I agree; the war on drugs is a dismal failure after nearly $1 trillion and over 60 years of oppression. Legalization and harm reduction will relieve our overcrowded prisons of nonviolent criminals, save billions on the war and actually create revenue through taxes upon the drugs. Drug use among teen-agers would drop due to regulation and restriction of sales to minors, unlike the dealers today who sell to whoever has the money. Most importantly, it will restore our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not to mention protection from illegal search and seizures.

Jason Alexander Potts (Blue Springs, Mo.)

[end]

108 Canada: PUB LTE: Pot Crackdown Has Wrong Effect[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Conlon, Kelly T. Area:Canada Lines:30 Added:03/01/1997

Hopefully, members of the Winnipeg Police Services have taken the time to watch the ABC News special "Pot of Gold" hosted by Peter Jennings, which was aired Thursday night. This problem is not confined to Winnipeg.

The rapid growth of indoor hydroponics operations isn't terribly astonishing when you think about the economics of growing the stuff; one ounce of marijuana will fetch about $300.00 on the street, tax free.

Whoever suggested that money doesn't grow on trees was obviously looking at the wrong tree.

[continues 58 words]

109 UK: PUB LTE: Should All Drugs Be Legalised And Regulated?[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:European (UK) Author:Smit, F. Area:United Kingdom Lines:26 Added:03/01/1997

Drug use and associated crime are escalating out of control as international drug gangs grow rich at our expense. Drugs have their dangers, but people are prepared to take the risks, as with the legal drugs alcohol and tobacco. Would it not be far better to legalise all drugs under strict regulation?

This would eliminate the criminal black market, deprive organised crime of its greatest source of income and allow adults to decide for themselves which risks they are prepared to take.

F Smit The Hague, the Netherlands

[end]

110 UK: PUB LTE: Legalization And Regulation[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:European (UK) Author:Michiels, Patrick Area:United Kingdom Lines:25 Added:03/01/1997

By allowing drugs to remain illegal and under the control old criminal gangs we are placing them beyond the control of society and the problem will forever remain insoluble. Control of drugs will only be achieved by legalisation and regulation, as is the case with the already legal drugs alcohol and tobacco.

Patrick Michiels Brighton, England

[end]

111 UK: PUB LTE: Should All Drugs Be Legalised And Regulated?[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:European (UK) Author:Finkler, Rene M. Area:United Kingdom Lines:28 Added:03/01/1997

Most users of Ecstasy are alive and well, and would profoundly disagree with your statements. It is disgraceful to argue: "The only way to remove Ecstasy from our cities is to clear it street by street." These are our streets and cities, too. Such an attitude reflects intolerance and self-righteousness.

I am 48 years old. For more than 30 years I have regularly consumed a variety of drugs, both legal and illegal. I have been working as a psychotherapist for 15 years, and as a systems engineer for ten. I have four children and am in good health.

Rene M Finkler Tokyo, Japan

[end]

112 US CO: PUB LTE: Hero To Her Parents[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Kriho, Ralph Area:United States Lines:31 Added:03/01/1997

Life certainly does not always imitate art. We wish our daughter, Laura Kriho, was getting rich like the law student in John Grisham's novel. Instead, she is facing a long and expensive appeal process, resulting from her conviction for obstruction of justice while trying to do her civil duty. Regardless of her political views, Laura never purposely withheld any information in order to get on a jury. Would anyone look forward to losing a day's pay to sit around a jury room all day, waiting to be called.

[continues 89 words]

113 US CO: PUB LTE: My Daughter Is The Victim[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Kriho, Virginia Area:Colorado Lines:48 Added:03/01/1997

Laura was the lone hold-out juror in the trial of a 19 year-old girl charged with possession of methamphetamine. Laura felt that there was not enough evidence to convict. This infuriated the other juror. One anonymous juror sent a note to the judge describing statements that my daughter made in the jury deliberation room (so much for private deliberations). Based on only this anonymous note, the presiding judge, Judge Kenneth Barnhill, declared a mistrial.

Two months later, Laura is charged with contempt of court! Apparently the judge and prosecutor were so enraged about losing a conviction, that they decided to take revenge on the juror they held responsible. They found out who the hold-out juror was and chose to investigate her background. With sheer delight, I'm sure, they found that 12 years ago Laura was involved in a drug charge herself. However, they ignored the fact that she received a deferred sentence, the plea was withdrawn, and no judgement was ever entered.

[continues 178 words]

114 US VT: PUB LTE: Drug War Bargain[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Burlington Free Press (VT) Author:Melamede, Robert Area:Vermont Lines:24 Added:03/01/1997

It seems that between the IRS accepting drug related income tax money, and the Treasury accepting debt repayment from countries that can only pay back debt because of their lucrative drug trade, that the US government is guilty of laundering drug money on the grandest of scales. The only sane solution to the perpetual drug problem is to regulate and tax drugs.

The 16 billion dollar drug war fails to stop 95% of the drugs. Its like paying for a new car and all you go home with is the air in the tires.

Bob Melamede, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics University of Vermont Burlington, VT http://www.uvm.edu/~rmelamed/

[end]

115 US IL: PUB LTE: Lincoln Square Truth Sets Us Free[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author:Sobey, Arthur Area:Illinois Lines:27 Added:03/01/1997

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.

Mitchell spoke from her heart in her courageous column. While I applaud her, I don't condemn those who are silenced by fear of imprisonment, job loss and public ostracism.

Predictably, the imprisonment of taxpaying pot smokers and the destruction of their families has failed to show any success in halting the flow of drugs to schoolchildren. Zero-tolerance "reefer madness" propaganda also has failed.

When intelligent teens, like Mitchell's 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, Corpus Christi, Texas

[end]

116 US CA: PUB LTE: Drug Prohibition Is Utopian Insanity[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:O'Connell, Thomas J. Area:California Lines:30 Added:03/01/1997

You correctly observe, ``Mexico's dismal record in controlling narcotics trafficking.'' And point out that, ``70 percent of all illegal drugs entering the United States comes through Mexico.'' You also say that, ``if the United States, with all its power and riches, cannot control or even diminish the demand for drugs within its own borders, it is absurd to demand that much poorer nations save us from ourselves.'' Then amazingly, you then fail to grasp the significance of your own observations and suggest that the ``answer'' is to scrap the certification process because it doesn't work! Pardon my exclamation point; it simply expresses the amazement someone outside the paradigm of drug prohibition feels when confronted by the absurdities of those still laboring within it. The critical question is: when is The Chronicle and the rest of America going to wake up to the fact that drug prohibition is a form of utopian insanity that this country has, because of its wealth and power, been able to force on the rest of the world. It's a policy which makes completely invalid assumptions about reality and human nature and then tries to make them come true, doing enormous damage to all of us in the process. Sadly, the real ``answer'' won't come until The Chronicle editors and enough other Americans wake up to that simple truth.

THOMAS O'CONNELL, M.D. San Mateo

[end]

117 US CA: PUB LTE: `Pot Phobia'[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Ford, David Area:California Lines:24 Added:03/01/1997

Example: ABC's Prime Time Live, March 19: ``One to three marijuana joints a day produces lung damage equivalent to smoking five times as many cigarettes.'' ``Smoking pot causes genetic changes in cells that line the lungs that can lead to cancer.'' ``Marijuana is capable of causing physical addiction.'' ``Marijuana is a gateway drug. Kids who use pot are 65 to 85 times more likely to use cocaine or other addictive substances.'' Not one of those statements have ever been proven. Yet the lies continue. The material came from the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

I knew a young man who was frightened off of pot from untrue propaganda. He tried heroin and died from an overdose.

``Pot phobia'' must stop. No one has ever died from marijuana. 500,000 Americans die annually from tobacco and alcohol.

DAVID R. FORD Sonoma

[end]

118 US CA: PUB LTE: `Pot Phobia'[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Sonoma Index-Tribune (CA) Author:Ford, David Area:California Lines:24 Added:03/01/1997

Example: ABC's Prime Time Live, March 19: ``One to three marijuana joints a day produces lung damage equivalent to smoking five times as many cigarettes.'' ``Smoking pot causes genetic changes in cells that line the lungs that can lead to cancer.'' ``Marijuana is capable of causing physical addiction.'' ``Marijuana is a gateway drug. Kids who use pot are 65 to 85 times more likely to use cocaine or other addictive substances.'' Not one of those statements have ever been proven. Yet the lies continue. The material came from the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

I knew a young man who was frightened off of pot from untrue propaganda. He tried heroin and died from an overdose.

``Pot phobia'' must stop. No one has ever died from marijuana. 500,000 Americans die annually from tobacco and alcohol.

DAVID R. FORD Sonoma

[end]

119 US CA: PUB LTE: Pot Phobia[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Press Democrat, The (CA) Author:Ford, David R. Area:California Lines:38 Added:03/01/1997

ABC's Prime Time Live, 3-19-97: "One to three marijuana joints a day produces lung damage equivalent to smoking five times as many cigarettes." "Smoking pot causes genetic changes in cells that line the lungs that can lead to cancer." "Marijuana is capable of causing physical addiction." "Marijuana is a gateway drug. Kids who use pot are 65 to 85 times more likely to use cocaine or other addictive substances "

Not one of those statements have ever been proven. Yet the lies continue. Material came from the Partnership For a Drug Free America who have aired other untrue "facts": The frying pan containing the sizzling egg, captioned, "This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs." They showed a 14 year old pot smoker hooked up to wires. A flat line signified brain damage. It was later proven the machine wasn't connected. Another: A sad couple said they couldn't have kids because the husband used to smoke pot. After the Amtrak train accident in 1987. "They say pot doesn't kill, but I lost my wife and two kids in a train accident caused by marijuana." Tests showed alcohol. No pot.

I knew a young man who was frightened off of pot from untrue propaganda. He tried heroin and died from an overdose.

"Pot phobia" must stop. No one has ever died from marijuana. 500,000 Americans die annually from nicotine cigarettes and alcohol.

David R. Ford, Sonoma, CA

[end]

120 UK: PUB LTE: It Is Time To Consider The Options[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Bristol Evening Post (UK) Author:Jones, Victoria Area:United Kingdom Lines:38 Added:03/01/1997

Mary Smith from KWADS expressed concern about the protection of children if drugs were regulated suggesting that under 18s would still have to buy it on the street. But who would be selling it? It would no longer be a lucrative industry. We dont have a problem with alcohol and cigarettes being sold to children by unscrupulous pushers.

What would the regulation of drugs mean in practice? It would mean a huge reduction in property crime, crime against the person and organised crime. It would mean legislation to protect children. It would mean making millions of pounds in tax revenue which could be spent on drug education and research.

[continues 53 words]

121 US MO: PUB LTE: Re: Agency Says Anti-Drug Success To Cost Schools More[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Potts, Jason Area:Missouri Lines:20 Added:03/01/1997

Same old story, 400 million on drug prevention didn't work so lets spend 600 million. I wish that my children could go to drug free schools, but this isn't working. Drugs are in our society, always have been and always will be, the problem is that they are currently controlled by drug dealers who are not concerned with the health and safety of our children, but with making money. If drugs are legal then they are regulated, same as alcohol, same as morphine. These controlled substances are not big problems in our schools, marijuana and crack are. In the words of Bill Clinton "Insanity is doing the same old thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Its time to get serious and look at what we have to do to protect our children as well as society.

Jason Potts, Blue Springs, MO

[end]

122 US OH: PUB LTE: Don't Discard Marijuana Law[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Blade (OH) Author:Lake, Richard Area:Ohio Lines:31 Added:03/01/1997

The current very limited law allows a court to review a doctor's recommendation and, when the court finds it appropriate, find a defendant not guilt of marijuana use by reason of medical necessity. Because doctors who make such a recommendation could face federal removal of their right to prescribe medicine no doctor is likely to make such a recommendation lightly. Indeed, the law has never even been used.

So the law simply sends a message that in this state, like many other states, doctors and their patients are not the enemy in the War on Drugs. It says the we have common sense. Even children can figure this out.

If we repeal the law why shouldn't children believe we lack common sense and compassion. Would it give us increased credibility when we say anything else about drugs? Like the representatives in Virginia recently, our representatives should just put this one on hold.

Richard Lake Sylvania

[end]

123 US WA: PUB LTE: Hemp Does More Good Than Harm[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Skagit Valley Herald (WA) Author:Bigelow, Allison Area:Washington Lines:99 Added:03/01/1997

By Allison Bigelow

Special to the Skagit Valley Herald

Cannabis hemp was our planet's largest agricultural crop from about 1000 B.C. to 1883 A.D. Products made from hemp include paper, fuel, building materials, lighting oil, clothing, ropes, carpet backing, food from the nutritious hemp seed, varnish and paints, and plastic. Hemp grows well in most climates without chemicals. It would take 6 percent of U.S. land to provide all of America's energy needs with hemp. Why fight wars for the right to send money out of our country to buy expensive and polluting fossil fuels, when we could pay our farmers to grow fuel that is less expensive and less polluting?

[continues 782 words]

124 US OH: PUB LTE: Political Grandstanding[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Blade (OH) Author:Eberhardt, Jerry Area:Ohio Lines:20 Added:03/01/1997

Currently the federal government is studying the benefits of marijuana for treatment of nausea, the wasting syndrome that results from HIV/AIDS, and glaucoma, among other ailments. The commission has admitted that evidence exists that marijuana is helpful in treating these diseases.

Why, then, doesn't our Legislature table this repeal until the studies are complete, as Virginia's legislature has done? It seems to me that to do anything else would be pure political grandstanding.

Jerry Eberhardt

[end]

125 US MA: PUB LTE: The Answer Is Regulation And Education[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Yarrusso, Carmen Area:Massachusetts Lines:26 Added:03/01/1997

Prohibition guarantees drug cartels, guarantees billion-dollar bureaucracies to fight a government-created "crime", guarantees gang killings, guarantees parentless children, guarantees police corruption, guarantees an excuse for racism by authorities, and guarantees a general cynicism and disrespect for all laws and authority by arbitrarily making someone a criminal for doing nothing more than making a personal decision.

No matter how many billions are spent and how many millions are jailed, the war against drug users can never be won short of a totalitarian state. The only answer is regulation and education. We ended prohibition once, we must end it again.

Carmen Yarrusso

[end]

126 US CA: PUB LTE: Dare To Tell The Truth[Sat, 01 Mar 1997]
Source:Contra Costa Times (CA) Author:Sutliff, Gerald M. Area:California Lines:21 Added:03/01/1997

If DARE the organization wants to survive it should try telling the truth or at least stop the obvious lies.

The most common one is calling all recreational drugs bad. Another is that there is no such thing as responsible use, and there is no benefit, even when used responsible.

That is an arguable point.

However, how does anyone expect the students to believe that their own eyes and experience contradict?

Gerald M. Sutliff Walnut Creek, CA

[end]

127 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Re: Cannabis Crisis[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Evening Post, The (New Zealand) Author:Sobey, Arthur R. Area:New Zealand Lines:38 Added:04/01/1997

In your "cannabis crisis" story of 3-19-97, a mistake is made in concentrating on violence. Alcohol stands virtually alone as the premier violence producing drug. Those interested in pursuing prohibition should concentrate on the positive economic features of prohibition. As an American who has lived under prohibition, for all of his 53 years, I speak from first hand experience.

Prohibition can work wonders in reducing the unemployment rate in New Zealand. The construction of the prisons necessary to enforce prohibition, will do wonders for the construction industry. The personnel necessary to staff and administer new prisons, adds a new dimension to any local economy. The hundreds of extra police, necessary for proper prohibition enforcement, can be used to augment military forces in time of war. The jobs of those incarcerated can of course be filled by those currently seeking employment, and the added social costs of broken families, and the drain on welfare resources, can be handled nicely by the necessary, periodic, tax increases that a dedicated prohibitionist would never object to.

Emphasizing the positive is always the best policy. Trying to tie marijuana to violence must fail. After all, when was the last time you heard about someone smoking marijuana and then going home to slap their spouse and kids around?

Sincerely, Arthur R Sobey Corpus Christi, Tx.

[end]

128 UK: PUB LTE: 'Dope On Dope'[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:New Scientist (UK) Author:Sobey, Arthur R. Area:United Kingdom Lines:39 Added:04/01/1997

Health secretary Donna Shalala's statement that "our teenage drug problem is for the most part a marijuana problem" is an outright distortion.

Some figures are illustrative. The Monitoring the Future study, done annually by the University of Michigan, is the government's "bible" for drug use among adolescents.

The study for 1996 shows that 4-9 per cent of 12th graders have smoked marijuana within the last 30 days, 22 2 per cent of 12th graders smoke cigarettes daily, and 30 2 per cent have engaged in binge drinking of alcohol, at least once, within the past 14 days. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks or beers in succession, at one sitting. Shalala is well aware of the facts on alcohol and nicotine, yet continues to insist that marijuana is the problem.

[continues 64 words]

129 UK: PUB LTE: Sad State Of Affairs[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:New Scientist (UK) Author:O'Connell, Thomas J. Area:United Kingdom Lines:28 Added:04/01/1997

The opinion that whatever evaluation of safety and efficacy marijuana is subjected to, it will have the added burden of proving it is the best agent available would be regarded as facetious if made about any other class of therapeutic agents. In the case of marijuana, for a scientist to allow that such an outcome is even possible is regarded as dangerous heresy and its utterance a mark of defiance.

This is the sad state of affairs American drug policy has brought us to. The most realistic hope at this point is that if enough rational people are motivated to think about these problems, they may gain enough insight into the ridiculous and destructive nature of the paradigm of doctrinaire global drug prohibition to want to change it.

Thomas O'Connell San Mateo, California

[end]

130 US: PUB LTE: Children's Easy Access[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Livermore, Arthur Area:United States Lines:21 Added:04/01/1997

Re A. M. Rosenthal's "Draining the Drug War" (column, April 8):

Prohibition is the reason that children have easy access to drugs. The war in support of prohibition doesn't decrease the availability of prohibited drugs to children.

It is time to end this 20th-century folly.

ARTHUR LIVERMORE Arch Cape, Ore.

[end]

131 US: PUB LTE: Government Protector[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Carol, Lynn Area:United States Lines:28 Added:04/01/1997

A. M. Rosenthal advocates that drugs "must be fought by every legal technique" (column, April 9). Of course, this is what has been done, over and over again.

When the currently legal techniques don't work, we simply expand what is "legal" for the government to do. Routine body searches (drug tests) and civil forfeiture (confiscation without due process) are just the outrage of the day.

And we didn't even have to change the Constitution; we just had to change our minds about what abuses we would accept.

With enough support for the drug war, there is no limit to what the government could do to "save" us from ourselves.

LYNN CAROL San Diego,

[end]

132 US: PUB LTE: Chasing The Dragon[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Peele, Stanton Area:United States Lines:37 Added:04/01/1997

A. M. Rosenthal's analysis that we are winning the drug war (column, April 8) ignores a few points.

One is the Clinton Administration's drug war budget of $16 billion. Mr. Rosenthal points out that in the early 1980's, many more people used drugs than do now. Yet in 1980 the drug budget was only $1 billion.

Why does it cost so much more to deal with fewer users?

Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the White House drug czar, is the Administration's point man in justifying this precipitous rise in expenditures. His is a tough task. After all, what else does the Federal Government spend 15 times as much on today as a decade and a half ago?

[continues 79 words]

133 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Toward A Smarter Policy[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Dominion, The (New Zealand) Author:Hadorn, David Area:New Zealand Lines:139 Added:04/01/1997

A striking example of this disparity is that Kiwis are permitted to buy codeine-containing medicines without a doctor's prescription, even though codeine is a narcotic--chemically related to heroin and carrying similar risks, including the possibility of addiction. These risks are communicated to adult users, who are credited with sufficient good judgement to use the drug safely. The fact that a few people purposely abuse codeine (as by making 91homebake') is not considered sufficient reason to keep this useful drug away from the rest of us.

[continues 870 words]

134 US CA: PUB LTE: Refreshing Ruling[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Hawkins, Tom Area:California Lines:14 Added:04/01/1997

It's no wonder that Patricia Seitz, chief lawyer for McCaffrey's office, said she was disappointed by the ruling. After all, she and her kind make their living hunting down American citizens. We can only hope that the wisdom of people like Judge Smith will save us from these drug war mongers.

Tom Hawkins Grand Coulee, Washington

[end]

135 US NJ: PUB LTE: Free Needles[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Star Ledger (NJ) Author:Greer, Mark Area:New Jersey Lines:23 Added:04/01/1997

It is just this type of reasoning that has caused us to be the world's largest prison builder and trillions of dollars in debt. Let's not "waste" $20,000 a year providing clean needles to these "hopheads." Let's wait until they get AIDS so we can unload an average of $500,000 a person in public assistance and medical aid.

Even the most hardened and self-serving among us should be able to see the rationale in providing clean needles to drug users. We're not doing it to make life pleasant for drug users. We're doing it because it's in our society's best interest to do so.

Mark Greer Porterville, Calif.

[end]

136 US MO: PUB LTE: In Hands Of Minors[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Potts, Jason Area:Missouri Lines:23 Added:04/01/1997

Zero tolerance has put the sale and distribution of some drugs into the hands of minors to be sold to minors.

How can our leaders continue to support a policy that endangers children? I hope that they can sleep at night after spewing rhetoric about how they are saving children when, in fact, they are advocating a policy that puts our youth in jeopardy. In truth, politicians are only using this subject as a feel-good political boost.

The war on drugs is far more damaging than the drugs.

Jason Alexander Potts Blue Springs

[end]

137 US OK: PUB LTE: Re: Legalizing Marijuana Won't Help[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK) Author:Pearson, Micheal Area:Oklahoma Lines:53 Added:04/01/1997

Mark Woodward's "Legalizing Marijuana Won't Help" ("Your Views," March 18) can be countered with "Prohibition of Marijuana Won't Help."

Prohibition means no control or regulation. Prohibition creates a black market where business disputes are tried by street justice keynoted with violence and corruption. A majority of black market vendors are children.

A white powder dealer will sell marijuana and then insist that the buyer try a free line where the real profits are. That is the largest gateway to hard drugs. By replacing black marketeers with licensed adults to sell with accountability, the gate would be closed.

[continues 242 words]

138 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Marijuana Laws LunacyWed, 23 Apr 1997
Source:Evening Post, The (New Zealand) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:New Zealand Lines:43 Added:04/23/1997

ANTI-MARlJUANA laws are nothing less than Iunacy.

The original reason that marijuana was outlawed was because:"All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is 'what makes them crazy.'"

The laws were first passed in the United States because of racism they were legal tool to punish racial minorities.

Throughout the history of these 1aws, the reasons have never made any more sense than that.

The marijuana laws ought to be repealed for the simplest of reasons - they aere complete lunacy and an outright fraud from the very beginning.

[continues 59 words]

139 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Alcohol A Popular DrugWed, 23 Apr 1997
Source:Evening Post, The (New Zealand) Author:Sutliff, Gerald M. Area:New Zealand Lines:38 Added:04/23/1997

FINALLY, someone has explained why your Government perpetuates its war on drug users and drug providers. Marijuana makes the users stupid, silly, careless, distracted, unmotivated end thereby endangers us all right? Sure.

Fortunately the same may not be said about alcohol, a most popu!ar drug. Otherwise, you would have to jail all the users, providers, retailers, and aIcohol traffickers.

Not only thal, elected officials would have to refuse political donations from alcohol kingpins.

Moreover, magazines and the media would have to refuse ads pushing, whoops, I mean, selling, such products. And finally, we would have to increase the number of police on the payroll and build more prisons.

[Abridged]

Walnut Creek California

[end]

140 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Responsible CitizensWed, 23 Apr 1997
Source:Evening Post, The (New Zealand) Author:Hawkins, Tom Area:New Zealand Lines:22 Added:04/23/1997

Like most people, they are responsible citizens who work hard, raise families, contribute to their communities, and want a safe crime-free neighborhood in which to live. To spend time and money seeking out, arresting, and jailing these individuals is inappropriate.

Grand Coulee, Washington

[end]

141 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Uninformed On MariuanaWed, 23 Apr 1997
Source:Evening Post, The (New Zealand) Author:O'Connell, Thomas J. Area:New Zealand Lines:52 Added:04/23/1997

A Friend in New Zealand paraphrased the contents of a Post editorial (April 10). You are badly in need of basic reorientation your pespective on marijuana as well woefully uninformed about the consequences of drug prohbition 1aw in general.

The subject of cannabis legalisation is not frivolous, certainly not to thousands of prison inmates in the United States who are serving multi year sentences for mere possesion.

A good reason for decriminlising every drug is that criminal prohibition creates and sustains violent illegal markets.

[continues 123 words]

142 US CA: PUB LTE: A Case For Clean-Needle ProgramsFri, 25 Apr 1997
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Day, D. Area:California Lines:131 Added:04/25/1997

by Brent Whitteker and Dawn Day

Whitteker is executive director of the San Diego Harm Reduction Center. Day is the director of the Dogwood Center, a research organization in Princeton, N.J.

The North American Syringe Exchange Conference meeting here this week is offering the citizens of San Diego an opportunity to learn about how a clean-needle program of an appropriate size here in San Diego could, in the next few years, save hundreds of lives and hundreds of millions of health-care dollars.

[continues 949 words]

143 US OH: PUB LTE: Clean-Needle Programs Save Lives And MoneySat, 26 Apr 1997
Source:Plain Dealer, Cleveland (OH) Author:Day, Dawn Area:Ohio Lines:100 Added:04/26/1997

by Kenneth A. Vail and Dawn Day

Vail is the director of Xchange Point in Cleveland. Day is the director of the Dogwood Center in Princeton, N.J.

Hundreds of lives will be saved in just the next few years, if Cleveland's clean-needle programs are supported and allowed to expand. Mayor Michael R. White has taken an important step toward saving those lives: He is negotiating with Xchange Point, an AIDS service organization, so that it can reopen its clean-needle program.

[continues 658 words]

144 UK: PUB LTE: Relative Safety[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Scotsman (UK) Author:Yates, John Area:United Kingdom Lines:30 Added:04/01/1997

Dr Paul Skett, of Glasgow University, says it is "a belief born of ignorance" to say that ecstasy and amphetamine are safe (your report, 17 April). But it is a belief born of ignorance to say many common substances are safe.

One of Scotland's major exports, whisky, is a neurotoxin that causes brain damage on a scale far greater than that which may or may not be caused by ecstasy. Proportionally, far more people are killed and injured by alcohol than by all the illegal drugs combined. No-one would claim that alcohol is safe and yet people are prepared to take the risk in order to add an extra dimension of enjoyment to their lives.

[continues 58 words]

145 US NJ: PUB LTE: Ending Drug Abuse[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Star Ledger (NJ) Author:Bloch, Peter Area:New Jersey Lines:26 Added:04/01/1997

We need to realize that, despite decades of a "war on drugs," serious drug abuse is growing. I suggest that the root of the problem is spiritual. It comes from the prevalence of impoverished hearts, both in the inner cities and in suburbia. The true root of the drug problem lies in valuelessness and materialism.

The drug problem will be addressed effectively when we realize that our brothers and sisters are so important to us that we reach out to those in trouble. Reaching out will benefit all of us, especially those who do the reaching, I know this from my work in prison ministry and with the homeless. When we begin reaching out more frequently, we will begin to see a society in which drugs are less necessary. We will be walking our talk. Our answer will be in prayerful service to one another. There is no way to solve this problem by force.

Peter B. Bloch Silver Spring, Md.

[end]

146 US CA: PUB LTE: Re: Smoke A Joint Lose Your License[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Trenda, John Area:California Lines:21 Added:04/01/1997

First we alienated illicit drug users from a large portion of the job market through random drug testing. Now we take away their drivers licenses further restricting their ability to get or hold a job. Then we can say "Aha see, drug users are unemployed free-loaders who don't want to work or be productive members of society."

That's like denying a man an education then saying he is stupid.

John Trenda Huntington Beach

[end]

147 US KS: PUB LTE: Stop Prosecuting Medicial Marijuana Patients[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Lawrence Journal-World (KS) Author:Green, Laura Area:Kansas Lines:42 Added:04/01/1997

As the debate rages over whether or not marijuana is medicine, innocent people continue to get caught in the crossfire.

In Douglas County recently, a medical marijuana patient was charged with felony cultivation for attempting to cultivate a few marijuana plants in their backyard last September, to allieviate constant nausea and vomiting. When the Drug Unit arrived at their home they found a few plants, ranging in size from 3 inches to a few feet. The five drug unit officers brought with them two Kansas Division of Revenue employees who took thousands of dollars worth of musical equipment to satisfy the Kansas drug tax ($1500, payable at the time of arrest).

[continues 192 words]

148 US MI: PUB LTE: Pot-Boiler[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Sutliff, Gerald M. Area:Michigan Lines:26 Added:04/01/1997

Drug Enforcement Agency representative Rogene Waite's statement that "people who eat these dishes could test positive in a drug test" shows one of the many reasons people test positive for drugs when they are not users or intoxicated. Another food that causes people to test positive is poppy seeds.

Drug use is a moral issue, and we should not allow police agencies to enforce morality. It is time to stop the War on Drugs.

Gerald M. Sutliff Walnut Creek, Calif.

[end]

149 UK: PUB LTE: Repressive[Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source:Scotsman (UK) Author:Yates, John Area:United Kingdom Lines:31 Added:04/01/1997

The situation there is certainly far better than that in Scotland. The Lancet recommended the adoption of Dutch policies in the UK in an editorial last year, and many other countries are examining the Dutch model with a view to emulating its successes.

The chief medical officer of Copenhagen recommended recently that Denmark should allow Dutch-style cannabis coffee shops and even go further by having a state-owned system of cannabis production and distribution.

The German state of Schleswig Holstein is to open a pilot programme of legal cannabis sales this year. Legalisation is proving to be a policy that can bring illegal drugs under control. It is a policy that could be adopted with great advantage by Scotland and then, perhaps, Scotland's drug problems will drop to the level of those in the Netherlands.

John Yates Jaktvagen, Ekenas, Finland

[end]

150 UK: PUB LTE: Seperation Of Hard Drugs Has Led To Lowest Rate Of Addiction In[Fri, 11 Apr 1997]
Source:Scotsman (UK) Author:Cronin, Russell Area:United Kingdom Lines:42 Added:04/11/1997

According to an official report, Drugs Policy In The Netherlands, Date: by the ministry of health in 1995, the policy of tolerating Source: Scotsman (UK) policy of tolerating Author: Russell Cronin been a qualified success, which is why the Dutch are determined to persevere with it, despite hostility from the governments of neighbouring countries, particularly France.

According to Mr Armstrong, "you can buy a wide selection of weed anywhere", but this is not the case. In fact, you can buy herbal cannabis and hashish only from coffee shops which, in general, are discreet establishments that do not also sell alcohol and never sell cannabis to minors.

[continues 131 words]


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