Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2000
Date: 05/10/2000
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Author: Chad Hildebran

I read the Mountain Xpress every Wednesday, and I always read the
commentaries. Sometimes, they make me cheer; other times, they make me
boil with anger. But when I read "Hurray for the pot police" [Letters,
April 26], I became frightened and nauseous to find that there are
people so uneducated, who can somehow genuinely feel that belligerent.
I also might add, they were so proud of their stand they wouldn't have
their name printed.

It's very frustrating to hear, every week, so many people so upset
about decisions people make that only affect that particular
individual. When someone commits, for example, a violent act, there's
definitely a need for some attention  because the same situation could
very easily happen to you or me, without a decision involved on our
part. There are so many of those particular situations that I can't
believe we waste so much time and energy on what people do that
doesn't affect anyone but the individual. Please, allow me to illustrate.

Right now, you're reading this paper; at this exact same moment,
someone, somewhere, is smoking a marijuana cigarette. Do you feel a
buzz coming on?

Is there smoke coming out of your mouth, filling the room you're in?
Probably not. I could give other examples, but I think you get the

So, please, I beg you, for my sake, for my children's sake, and for
your sake  can't we stop this trivial bickering and focus on things
that affect us all? We've virtually exhausted our natural forests and
fossil fuels, when we have other options. We've got the most
overcrowded jail systems in the world, and we're putting people in
jail for victimless crimes. Jail, I thought, was to keep menaces to
society off the street. A person with the disease known as addiction
needs help therapeutically  not by threatening, negative

By the way, for the unnamed author of "Hurray for the pot police,"
alcohol and tobacco use each kill more people every year than all
illegal drugs combined. I've never found a case of anyone, anywhere,
who has died of a THC overdose. And I don't recall the Bible, in any
interpretation, endorsing tobacco specifically. You should try reading
educational material sometimes; it actually can teach you things.

Chad Hildebran,

Editor's note: Stop! It was satire  a sarcastic diatribe against the
war on drugs.

Seldom does a letter provoke such inflamed  and misunderstood
responses as did "Hurrah for the pot police."

And because the letter, published in our April 26 issue, was run on
our Web site, it elicited reactions not only from local readers, but
from Internet users in other states and Canada.