Pubdate: Thu, 06 Mar 2003
Source: Daily Illini, The (IL Edu)
Copyright: 2003 Illini Media Co
Author: Alan Reiner


Kudos to Robert Sharpe from Drug Policy Alliance for his excellent letter 
about misguided marijuana laws. Alcohol prohibition was one one of the 
greatest public policy failures in U.S. history, yet the government 
continues to wage an identical prohibition on marijuana that has been 
consistently failing for more than 60 years. While terrorist organizations 
are devising ways to attack our country, the government is putting huge 
sums of money and resources into this policy that destroys the lives of 
peaceful citizens and turns terminally ill patients into criminals.

On top of all this, the government continues to mislead the public about 
the true effects of marijuana, hoping to justify their 
disproportionately-harsh laws. With a dozen anti-marijuana ads that apply 
much more to alcohol than marijuana, they make us believe that marijuana is 
evil. However, they never acknowledge the damage to society caused by 
alcohol and tobacco. For instance, alcohol and tobacco kill more than 
500,000 people every year.

No one said you have to smoke marijuana -- you are better off if you don't. 
But it's hypocritical to support legal alcohol and tobacco, yet support 
persecution of peaceful citizens who use marijuana recreationally or as 
medicine. We need to learn from history instead of repeating it, and start 
arresting terrorists, not cancer patients.

Alan Reiner

sophomore in LAS