Pubdate: Sat, 26 Jul 2003
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2003 News World Communications, Inc.
Author: Brian C. Bennett


Sunday's Special Report was interesting, but it did not address the most 
important aspect of the issue ("Pot paradox," Page 1). Regardless of why 
someone chooses to smoke pot, the real question at hand is this: Why should 
any citizen be punished for doing something to himself?

Our politicians are making hay by claiming that we need to waste our 
resources pursuing people who choose to smoke the "wrong" plant -- not 
because these people are causing harm to others, but because they choose to 
intoxicate themselves in an "unapproved" manner.

In a nation of supposed equals, how are we individually empowered to punish 
other citizens for their self-directed acts?

Marijuana certainly causes insanity -- but not among its users. Another 
brief point: The law that has made cannabis a "Schedule I narcotic" is the 
Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The original Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 
was declared unconstitutional. I still can't find anything in the 
Constitution that grants the government the power to punish people who do 
things to themselves.

BRIAN C. BENNETT Barboursville, Va.
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