Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2000 Date: 05/10/2000 Source: Mountain Xpress (NC) Author: Chad Hildebran Related: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n560/a13.html 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 point. 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 reinforcement. 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, Asheville 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.