Pubdate: Wed, 17 Jul 2002
Source: Wichita Eagle (KS)
Copyright: 2002 The Wichita Eagle
Authors: Stan White, Robert Sharpe


I agreed with Debby Moore's commentary, "Kansas missing out on the 
potential of hemp" (July 13 opinion pages). Our country needs to 
reintroduce hemp as a component of American agriculture. I have been buying 
imported Canadian hemp-seed oil for more than three years and would rather 
buy it from American farmers. It's time to rein in the U.S. government, 
which is out of control in prohibiting American farmers from growing and 
producing this vegetable oil.

STAN WHITE Dillon, Colo.

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Failed Drug War

Regarding The Eagle editorial "Treatment: Change emphasis of state's drug 
policy" (June 30 Our View): The Kansas Sentencing Commission is to be 
commended for pursuing alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug 
offenders. A study conducted by the Rand Corp. found that every additional 
dollar invested in substance-abuse treatment saves taxpayers $7.46 in 
societal costs.

There is far more at stake than tax dollars. The drug war is not the 
promoter of family values that some would have us believe. Children of 
inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction and 
delinquency. Not only do the children lose out, but society as a whole 
does, too. Incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders alongside hardened 
criminals is the equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded 
education in anti-social behavior. Turning drug users into unemployable 
ex-cons is a senseless waste of tax dollars.

It's time to declare peace in the failed drug war and begin treating all 
substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the public-health problem it is. 
Destroying the futures and families of citizens who make unhealthy choices 
doesn't benefit anyone.


Program officer

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
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