Pubdate: Tue, 15 Jul 2003
Source: Northern Star (IL Edu)
Copyright: 2003 Northern Star
Author: Sarah Tammen


I must agree with Richard Rawlings, a war on drugs seems to be a futile 
effort (Northern Star Forum, July 8). I have seen first hand the effects of 
drugs on hard-core abusers, but I have also witnessed the harmless effects 
on casual users. Although I neither encourage nor condone recreational drug 
use, the attempt to halt all users is frankly an unreasonable proposal.

It is my belief that it is wrong for anyone to control minor drugs. We view 
drug use as an awful sin because society has labeled it as "low class" or 
immoral, but intrinsically, it is only wrong because we are programmed from 
birth to believe so. Values do not exist; they are created by the human 
mind's imagination. Why do you think outside cultures hold such varied 
standards? Each society tells us what is right or wrong, what is 
unacceptable, and what we should immediately believe because, dog-gone-it! 
our society is truly and obviously the accurate one.

We label specific actions as good or bad to insult those who we despise or 
disagree with to feel better about ourselves and feel like we're actually 
going somewhere in life. And thanks to the beautiful hypocrisy of the very 
same human society, double standards like this, are created: When safety 
becomes a focus point, alcohol is conveniently omitted. Forty percent of 
all traffic deaths are attributed to alcohol, but yet prohibition is 
strictly to be avoided.

There is not an illegal substance on earth that shares a similar safety 
risk track record. In the year 2000, alcohol was consumed by one half of 
the American population while in the same year only one third used 
marijuana. Is it fair to pick on the minority of users simply because it is 
easier or that their drug of choice has an unwarranted negative stigma? 
Marijuana is natural unlike your aged and brewed concoction. I promise you 
this, I would rather be stuck at a party with a room full of people who 
were high than one filled with drunks. Happy people do not hurt people.

So, I suppose my message is this: To the deciding government officials, as 
you celebrated the Fourth with a fifth, your kids probably were celebrating 
with a joint and a pair of 3-D glasses and yet came home safely. They know 
it's harmless, you know it's harmless, we know it's harmless. Don't be so 
concerned about reforming America, it isn't your responsibility to choose 
our individual fates. God gave us marijuana, the freedom of choice and 
will, and don't forget, He's bigger than you.

Sarah Tammen Junior, psychology