Pubdate: Fri, 17 Oct 2003
Source: Good 5 Cent Cigar (RI Edu)
Contact:  2003 Good 5 Cent Cigar
Author: Justin Holmes


To the Cigar:

I have never met Chris Ferdinandi, but I must say I got a good,
full-belly laugh out the empty rhetoric, raving idiocy, and
unmitigated doublespeak in his recent letter to the editor.

First of all, Chris: You're absolutely right that many (most!!) drug
policy reformers are fighting for their own (and everyone else's) right
to have control over which substances they put into their own bodies.
Nobody, not even Mr.
Medical-Marijuana-Forced-Treatment-John-Walters-Heckler Tom Angell
denies this.

Secondly, the drug policy reform movement is chiefly concerned with
the drug problem in this nation and world. Fighting for personal
autonomy and recognizing the drug problem are not opposing views - in
fact they are one and the same. The primary cause of the drug problem
is the backward, worthless policy of prohibition. This movement wants
to address the problem with serious, honest education and easy access
to treatment, and the fact of the matter is no workable solution can
involve a revolving door prison system or a massive black market.
Prohibition has never worked, and it never will. People that support
the status quo are the ones who don't care about the drug epidemic.

I'd say the line that I find most entertaining from Chris' letter (in
fact I just went back and read it again and laughed out loud a second
time) is "Those truly concerned with social reform have many other
options available to them that don't support illegal drug users." This
is such a ridiculous and nonsensical collage of English words that
it's difficult to even begin to address it.

The term "illegal drug users" is really a bad choice here in this
argument. The drug policy reform movement doesn't see the distinction
between illegal drug users and other drug users. Between tobacco,
alcohol, caffeine, currently illicit drugs, and prescription drugs,
very close to every American is at least an occasional "drug user".
Obviously, some have serious problems with drugs and some don't, and
there are a wide array of conditions in between. Saying that we don't
want to offer "support" to drug users is, well, absolutely contrary to
the task of remedying our "drug problem."

If Chris had offered any kind of alternate solution, or even any good
ideas of any kind, people might take his letter seriously. Until then,
it just makes for a fantastic comedy.

Justin Holmes,

SUNY New Paltz Student Senate,

New Paltz NORML / SSDP
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