Pubdate: Sun, 13 Oct 2002
Source: State Journal-Register (IL)
Copyright: 2002 The State Journal-Register
Author: Larry A. Stevens


Dear Editor,

George Atterberry's letter about the irony of our cannabis laws is just 
plain right.  His position that cannabis is a benign drug compared to 
alcohol and tobacco is strongly backed up by the recent two-year study by 
the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs.

The Canadian Senate is not known as a radical or even politically 
courageous body.  Nevertheless, their 600-page report took a refreshingly 
honest look at pot and determined that it poses no risk that in any way 
justifies its criminal status.

Most people don't smoke cannabis, so why should anybody care if the laws 
against it are ironic, moronic or hypocritical?

For starters, one could mention the closed school libraries that have been 
in the news recently.  The closure of state historic sites on Mondays and 
Tuesdays also comes to mind.  I'll bet many readers could think of other 
painful budget cuts that effect them personally.  It costs a lot of money 
to lock up drug offenders only to release them early because of budget 
shortfalls.  How can we continue to tolerate such waste?

The truth is we give up a lot more than money to maintain brain-dead drug 
policies that only make the drug problem worse.  Everybody has a stake in 
this issue.

Larry A. Stevens

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