Pubdate: Sun, 08 Apr 2001
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 2001 St. Lawrence County Newspapers Corp
Contact: Accepts LTEs by mail only!
Authors:  Joanne Monnet, Robert M. George
NOTE: Accepts LTEs by mail only! Must be signed w/phone#


Dear Editor;

Some people tend to criticize other people in this area simply because they 
stand up for what they strongly believe in. Where would our country be 
today if we had not stood up for our freedoms.

The war on drugs is not right, it is a prejudice against Blacks and 
Hispanics. It has caused an increase in the AIDS virus through shared 
needles and, contracting AIDS from prisons and returning it back to 
neighborhoods. Also, it has cost the taxpayers billions of dollars and yet 
there is still no significant reduction in drug use. This money could be 
better spent improving schools, increasing the number of rehabilitation 
centers, or creating more grants to upgrade low income housing.

I am fully convinced based on studies, attending meetings, and seminars 
that the war on drugs is a failure.

I have grown up with this war and I will continue to seek and end to this 
insanity regardless of what some people may label me as.

Joanne Monnet Ogdensburg, N. Y.

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Dear Editor;

Its time!! I know that there are many people who agree with organizations 
like ReconsiDer, N.O.R.M.L., and Drug Policy Foundation, that our current 
drug policies are failing.

The problem is that these people, many of which hold professional positions 
are afraid to voice their opinions on the drug war for fear of retribution 
from their employers.

I feel it would not be beyond the rhelm for an employee to be terminated 
for his or her stance against the drug war especially if that employer were 
the Federal, State, or local Governments.

Another important issue which disturbs me is the implementation of a law, 
(The Higher Education Act of 1998, Section 484, Subsection 'r') which makes 
many young adults ineligible for government grants for college if the 
applicant has drug conviction in their past. In other words if our sons or 
daughters have a moment of youthful indiscretion and are caught, their 
education and quite possibly their lives could have severe limitations 
placed on them for simply possessing a little marijuana.

I feel its time that the silent supporters of groups like ReconsiDer start 
coming forward and voice there dissatisfaction with our current drug laws. 
I applaud people like Lee Monnet, Larry Sequin, Sheila Cipriani, and all 
the others who have taken a stand.

If anyone is interested in hearing more about ReconsiDer, the group holds 
meetings on the first Monday of every month at the Ogdensburg Public 
Library at 7:00pm. All interested parties are welcome.

Robert M. George Ogdensburg, N. Y. 
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