Pubdate: Mon, 13 Aug 2001
Source: Huntsville Item (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Huntsville Item and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Author:  Dean Becker


For nearly 500 years, colonialist powers like England, Spain and later the 
United States, made it their business to impose their will on lesser 
countries, to force new religions and morals on all the "heathen cultures" 
of this earth. In the process, they vilified and demonized the use of such 
drugs as marijuana, coca and opium which previously had been a recognized 
part of many religions, many cultures for thousands of years.

In the early 20th century, corporate heads foresaw gleaming profits in 
prohibiting the use of certain plants. They claimed that Chinamen on opium 
were a threat to a decent society, that Mexicans and Blacks would rape 
white women after smoking marijuana, that prison or death were too good for 
users and that the religious underpinnings of these drugs were sacrilegious 
and evil.

These men of influence and wealth had the contacts to force through laws 
based on nothing more than rumors circulated through newspapers controlled 
by these same interests. The American people were fooled into believing 
they were saved and that the control and distribution of these herbs and 
their extracts should be prohibited. This "prohibited" drug commerce now 
exceeds four hundred billion dollars per year.

Today, the United States, through its drug convention treaties, forces its 
ideas of Judeo-Christianity, and all the attendant drug laws and morals on 
the whole world. U.S. media now ignores the ongoing drug reform in England, 
France, Spain, Portugal, Canada and much of the rest of the world. 
Research, experience and common sense have shown these enlightened 
countries that the medieval drug laws are a simply a mechanism that if left 
unchecked, would someday devour the meaning, the very fabric, of liberty.

The United States now wants to repudiate the nuclear arms treaty and 
refuses to sign five other treaties that otherwise have worldwide 
endorsement. Our government paid no attention whatsoever when the U.S. 
seats on the UN Drug Policy and Human Rights panels were lost. We do not 
care. We are willing to lock up more than two million of our own people in 
order to support a growing prison-industrial complex. With the "election" 
of Bush; his selection of Ashcroft for Attorney General and with Hutchison 
and Walters to head up the DEAth squads, the future seems set here in the 
US; a more vigorous prosecution is assured.

Our country's leadership speaks now of preparing for the coming of a rogue 
nation. A nation having no regard for the horrible destruction it may 
create, a nation that has no regard for human rights. That rogue nation is 
the United States of America.

I ask all government leaders, all citizens to please consider a rational 
approach to ending this drug war. Help rid the earth of this monster, 
spawned from a cesspool of hypocrisy.

Dean Becker Community Liaison, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Houston
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