Pubdate: Wed, 05 Sep 2001
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (AR)
Copyright: 2001 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.
Author: Glen Schwarz
Bookmark: (Hutchinson, Asa)


On Aug. 1, a single ray of light shone forth from the stony darkness within 
our nation's Capitol dome. On that day, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to 
rubber-stamp the nomination of home-grown drug war zealot Asa Hutchinson. 
But the vote was not unanimous.

A junior senator from Minnesota, one Mark Dayton, a Democrat, cast a 
dissenting vote. This act and the words he spoke afterward spotlighted a 
rare commodity in Washington, indeed: a respect for the truth and the 
courage to vote for it, alone if necessary.

My compliments to your newspaper for publishing Dayton's views in your Aug. 
3 issue. Several members of Arkansas NORML had already asked me why he 
voted as he did. Kevin Freking's article explained this well and succinctly.

The senator's words rang so true, they brought a tear to my eye: "He 
[Hutchinson] evidenced no understanding of the effect on our criminal 
justice and our penal system of our draconian fixed sentencing for 
possession of small amounts of drugs. And he rejected outright the 
possibility of decriminalization of marijuana for strictly medicinal purposes."

There is a funny thing about the truth. If you are a critically thinking 
person, you don't need majority support to recognize it. The words of 
Dayton gave hope to the millions of Americans who know the truth about 
cannabis hemp. Let the 99 other senators and the Texan George W. Bush come 
on with their damn war on drugs. We will fight them all and persevere, for 
the clear light of truth is on our side.
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MAP posted-by: GD