Pubdate: Thu, 01 Jun 2000
Date: 06/01/2000
Source: The Free Lance Star (VA)
Author: Ellen Herndon Atkins

I found Larry Evans' May 15 column ["Drug use casts long shadow"] to
be very interesting. He stated that recreational users of cocaine and
heroin are helping to perpetuate an illicit trade that causes a world
of hurt. I completely agree with his opinion, but I must comment on
his omission of marijuana - I'm glad he did.

I am neither a user nor an advocate of drugs. However, I do advocate
the legalizing of marijuana for medicinal purposes - as well as
recreational use - and would very much like to see farmers grow hemp
in this state because I feel that's a cash crop that could replace

I won't go into all the rhetoric that supports my decision on the
legalization of marijuana, but I was glad to see the column didn't
include marijuana with the "hard" drugs. In my life alcohol has been a
much more deadly substance than marijuana.

I would much rather have my 22-year-old son take a few puffs on a
joint than drink beer or liquor, but - until our government ends this
insane "War on Drugs" - my son would be committing an illegal act.

Ellen Herndon Atkins,