Pubdate: Tue, 19 Feb 2002
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Authors: Stephen Heath, Gerald M. Sutliff, Clifford A. Schaffer


Dear Editor,

Thank you for your consideration and your selection of my letter [Drugs: 
Media too lax, Feb. 15 Letters, Langley Advance News] to your newspaper. I 
appreciate the chance to participate.

As someone who works actively to promote honest drug policy and drug 
information in the media, I write to many newspapers. This is the first 
time I have been printed in your country.

Thanks for making me international!

Cheers from Clearwater, Florida, USA. Stephen Heath, Drug Policy Forum of 

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Dear Editor,

Mr. White makes an excellent point [Drugs: God gave us cannabis, Feb. 15 
Letters, Langley Advance News], but I don't think that kind of thinking 
will expand many people's tolerance for marijuana smokers.

I and many of my generation were raised with ideas such as, "Lips that 
taste wine will never touch mine."

However, I wasn't taught that the sandals and clothes that Christ wore to 
the cross were most likely made with hemp, a.k.a. marijuana, as were the 
under-armour garments worn by the soldiers who put Him there.

My point is that it's the use to which God's gifts are put that matters.

Let's hear it for medicinal marijuana and industrial hemp. What are we 
afraid of?

Gerald M. Sutliff, Oakland, California

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Dear Editor,

Frank G. Sterle is simply incorrect when he asserts that alcohol 
prohibition in the US reduced alcohol consumption [Drugs: Legalization 
around the corner, Feb. 15 Letters, Langley Advance News]. The truth is 
that pre-prohibition use reached a peak in about 1911 and fell every year 
thereafter until 1922. Prohibition began in 1920.

 From 1922 to the end of prohibition in 1933, consumption rose steadily. By 
1926, arrests for public drunkenness and similar crimes rose to record 
levels - almost 30 per cent above the previous record year of 1911.

According to the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (1972), 
overall consumption during prohibition was about 11 per cent higher than 
before prohibition.

Even worse was the fact that prohibition caused the first major drug 
epidemic among children. Admissions of teens to hospitals for 
alcohol-related problems soared to levels never seen before. School 
officials had to cancel school dances because so many kids showed up with 
hip flasks full of whiskey.

Some of the early supporters of prohibition turned against it because of 
its effect on their own children.

Before prohibition, their children found it difficult to get alcohol. After 
prohibition started, there was no regulatory control at all on the sellers, 
and bootleggers discovered (as modern drug dealers have discovered) that 
children made excellent couriers for both booze and money.

Prohibition was passed with a campaign of "Save the Children from Alcohol."

It was repealed with a campaign of "Save the Children from Prohibition." 
Historically speaking, the biggest single cause of drug epidemics is 
hysterical anti-drug campaigns.

Clifford A. Schaffer, Agua Dulce, California 
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