Pubdate: Mon, 10 Apr 2000
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2000 The Register-Guard
Contact:  PO Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188
Author: Allan Erickson


Strange how quiet The Register-Guard has become on the global debate
about the war on (some) drugs. In the United Kingdom in recent days,
more than 80 articles and letters to the editor have appeared in
reaction to a newly released police commission report calling for
decriminalization of marijuana in England. With the exception of a
flurry of coverage immediately after this winter's multi-network town
hall meeting on local heroin use, this newspaper has again fallen into
the no-news mode on the issue of illegal drugs.

As the Los Angeles police corruption case continues to unfold, Patrick
Dorismond is shot by police trying to buy drugs from him in New York,
and our Congress has passed an aid bill for Colombia that would
seriously escalate an already tragic civil conflict. Also, a bill that
would criminalize discussion of illegal drugs on the Internet
(Methamphetamine Anti-proliferation Act, HR 2987) is coming up soon
for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As a volunteer for the Media Awareness Project (, I
read volumes of news specifically on the war on (some) drugs from
around the globe. Decriminalization of pot, providing clean needles
and injection rooms to heroin addicts, and restructuring of police
priorities away from crimes of personal possession are becoming
mainstream topics in nations around the globe but not in the United

As the government's prohibition policies come under greater scrutiny
we need to elevate the level of debate, bringing the constitutional
infringements we suffer, into the open. It is in the interest of this
nation's citizens for our newspapers to be diligent in their coverage.
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