Pubdate: Thu, 23 Aug 2001
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2001 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,
Author: Dean Becker


Dear Editor,

Thomas Jefferson grew thousands of opium poppies beside his Monticello home.

If he lived in today's America, we would be compelled to arrest him as a 
drug lord.

Jefferson's friend, Ben Franklin, was known to use opium for his ailments, 
as did many Americans. Throughout the millennia, people on every continent 
have used what are now termed "illicit" drugs. Until 1914, all such drugs 
were legal. It was only with the advent of multi-national corporations and 
their influence on politicians that drug laws were crafted.

Would you arrest Jefferson? Would you sentence him to the mandatory 20 
years or would you give him the benefit of the doubt? Surely his actions 
represent his life more accurately than do his possessions. Should not this 
same liberty be afforded to all?

Dean Becker
Drug Policy Forum of Texas
Community Liaison Creator, Drug Truth Chats & Forums on NY Times,
Houston, TX
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