Pubdate: Fri, 11 Apr 2003
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Alan Randell


Dear Editor,

Enough of this simple-minded prohibitionist propaganda, please [Residents 
push grass out of neighbourhood, April 5, Langley Advance News]. Your 
readers surely deserve better.

Let's get a few things straight about drugs.

No government has the right to punish anyone for ingesting anything, 
however harmful.

The consequences of prohibition are far more harmful than anything 
preceding it: more user deaths because of adulterated drugs; much more 
crime; explosions and fires in illegal drug labs; electricity thefts; 
accelerated spread of infectious diseases; skyrocketing law enforcement 
costs; police corruption; disrespect for the law; easier access for 
children, because drugs are often sold at school by classmates; more 
difficulty for parents and children to communicate honestly about drugs; etc.

Even if governments did have the right to ban harmful drugs, two of our 
more harmful recreational drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are not banned, and 
marijuana is less harmful than either.

Drug prohibition began at the beginning of the 20th century as a means of 
persecuting blacks (marijuana), Mexicans (marijuana), and Chinese (opium), 
but today the cops are happy to make use of this evil law to harass and 
control all those whose skin colour and/or lifestyle offends them.

We put up with this brutal and unjustifiable pogrom because the media 
support it.

It provides many exciting news stories about various busts, murders, and 
assaults, as well as adrenaline-pumping accounts of cops battering down 
doors - usually in the poorer areas of our cities and towns.

It enables editors to wax poetic as they pledge their undying support for 
fascist-like horrors "to protect the children," taking care to omit the 
hell some children are thrust into when their parents are jailed.

It provides moving accounts of born-again former drug users spouting their 
just-say-no nonsense to a roomful of children and imploring the kids, 
"Don't do what I did, do what I say," as they pocket speaking fees and 
expenses far in excess of what they could earn if they hadn't clambered 
aboard the taxpayer-funded drug war gravy train.

It provides drug scare stories from cops who are anxious to keep 
prohibition going because it provides them with bigger budgets and more 
power, not to mention free drugs.

And those drug-sniffing pooches are so cute!

Misery, suffering and hatred sell more newspapers and produce higher TV 
ratings than happiness, contentment, and love.

Was there ever a greater gift to the elite of the modern nation state to 
help them ride roughshod over the rights of their citizens than the mass media?

Abraham Lincoln was mistaken. You don't have to fool all the people all the 
time in order to oppress them. All that's required is for the majority to 
be fooled all the time, and sadly, once you have the media behind you, that 
task is child's play.

It's time for you to begin serving the people, instead of our gutless 
politicians and venal drug cops.

Alan Randell

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