Pubdate: Tue, 19 Feb 2002
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2002 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Graham Boyd


President Bush's goal of reducing national drug use, while ambitious, once 
again highlights the chasm between White House rhetoric and reality ("Bush 
plans hit on drug abuse: White House goal is to reduce 'crisis' by 25% in 
five years," News, Wednesday).

In his speech, the president trumpeted his plan to "aggressively promote 
drug treatment." His budget, however, favors interdiction over treatment, 
with a funding disparity of more than 7 to 1.

Actions speak louder than words.

While the president was outlining his "compassionate" drug policy, the head 
of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Asa Hutchinson, had dispatched his 
agents to raid several cooperatives that provide safe, reliable supplies of 
medical marijuana to seriously ill patients throughout California.

Despite the fact that voters in California and seven other states have 
decided that a patient wasting away from AIDS or retching from cancer 
chemotherapy should be able to find relief from marijuana, the federal 
government's harassment of medical-marijuana suppliers continues unabated.

This does not sound so compassionate. Instead of paying lip service to our 
nation's drug problems, the Bush administration should invest in a just and 
sensible drug policy.

Graham Boyd, director

Drug Policy Litigation Project

American Civil Liberties Union

New Haven, Conn.
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