Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2000
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2000 Mountain Xpress
Contact:  PO Box 144, Asheville, NC 28802
Fax: (828) 251 1311
Note: 6 PUB LTEs follow the Mountain Xpress Editor's introduction.


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

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.


I am sure that you got blasted with letters in response to "Hurrah for the 
Pot Police" [Letters, April 26]. I don't usually write a lot of letters to 
editors and such, but I couldn't resist this one.

Name Withheld must already have a drug-fried brain. I do not condone 
marijuana use for getting high, but I was appalled when I heard about that 
drug raid on that farmer and his family ["Casualties of war," April 12]. I 
see it as a prime example of the law abusing their authority. I don't like 
seeing my tax dollars going for such inhumane treatment of the people they 
are getting paid to protect.

Of course the Bible doesn't mention pot. It also doesn't mention incest, 
abortion and a lot of the other issues of today. It was written almost 
2,000 years ago, by men. I was born and raised in a Christian home. But the 
Christian saturation in this area has actually turned me away from the 
church. It is so full of bigotry and hatred. That was not what I was taught 
as a child.

Name Withheld needs to look at the ingredients in "culturally ordained" 
drugs. He might be surprised at what he's putting in his body. Wake up, 
person, you are living in a fantasy world. All organic farmers should be 
treated with great respect.

Thank Spirit for the freedom of speech.

Teresa Ballinger, Black Mountain


I find it extremely poor journalism to print such a letter from an 
anonymous source ["Hurrah for the pot police," April 26]. Obviously that 
letter was authored by either a "dope-cop" or a "religious fanatic" (or, 
likely, both). If it had been a "meaningful" letter, it might have made 
sense. But why print a letter like that? Just trying to stir up debate?

Actually, whoever wrote that letter did a huge favor to all the 
organizations fighting to make cannabis legal and make "dope-cops" 
obsolete. We put his letter and others like it on our walls, and distribute 
it to others, because it helps us to mobilize the masses against his kind!

We take our American rights seriously  we will overgrow!

David Malcolm, Currie Portland, Ore.


The raving rant against innocent, peaceful pot users who quietly huddle in 
their houses  trying to avoid attention  was a blatant example of hatred 
that is based on bias. No wonder this person refused to sign their name 
[Letters, "Hurrah for the pot police," April 26]. As long as there are 
prejudices against minorities for no reason, this evil slanderer will 
continue to spew out similar maniacal nonsense.

Zero tolerance in your country has evolved into hatred for one's fellow 
humans just because they choose to use an herb that has itself been 
slandered, prosecuted and burned for no good reason.

The ugliness is escalating. Please, just stop it right now.

Kathy Galbraith, Raymond, Alberta


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


Please tell me that the letter titled "Hurrah for the pot police" was 
someone's very sick idea of a joke. In self-defense-induced denial, I 
really don't want to acknowledge the fact that there are people running 
loose out there with such perverted notions about good and evil.

I do find it strange that someone so proud of their Christian values 
elected to have their name withheld. But not wanting to get into a "my god 
is better than your god" type of discussion, I won't take that any further.

I am even more offended at the hate and racism evident in this person's 
nasty little poison-pen spewings. Given a choice between the two, I'll take 
a thong-wearing, bicycle-riding, ganja-smoking hippie any day of the week.

At least I wouldn't have to worry that the hippie was going to beat me to 
death with racist, pseudo-religious dogma.

Melanie McMahan, Asheville


[Regarding the "Hurray for the pot police" letter, which ran in the March 
26 issue of Xpress,] it is important to note that most drug-war-mongering 
politicians and civilians fall into two categories:

1. Those who actually believe the propaganda, lies and ignorant myths 
peddled by the prohibitionists who refuse to consider any reform-oriented 
alternatives to the current massive failure and fraud of the drug war; and

2. Those prohibitionists, referred to above, who rely on the continued 
prosecution of  but never a victory in  the drug war, in order to sustain 
the industries, jobs and constituents' votes that keep them in business and 
in power. The hottest fires in hell will be reserved for these people, who 
employ fear, lies and oppression in an attempt to continue  but, again, 
never to win  the war on drugs.

Cannabis has no lethal dose, and its pharmacological effects have never 
caused a single death, in over 5,000 years of recorded history.

The (unseen) driving force against medical (or unrestricted adult) 
legalization of cannabis is the fact that cannabis can't be patented. This 
precludes the need for big business to be involved, and that fact makes 
cannabis commercially unattractive, pharmaceutically speaking. It seems 
that if it can't be profitized successfully, the government can't justify 
legalization  even for the sick and dying.

Unfortunately, a change in current policy (prohibition) would necessitate 
that the alternative (legalization) reap more profits (seen and unseen) 
than our present policy does.

Maybe the politicians are required to adhere to the party line of 
prohibition because law enforcement, customs, the prison/industrial 
complex, the drug-testing industry, the INS, the CIA, the FBI, the DEA, the 
politicians themselves, et al., can't live without the budget justification 
not to mention the invisible profits, bribery, corruption and forfeiture 
benefits  that prohibition affords them. The drug war also promotes, 
justifies and perpetuates racist enforcement policies, and is diminishing 
many freedoms and liberties that are supposed to be inalienable, according 
to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Myron Von Hollingsworth, Fort Worth, Texas
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