Pubdate: Wed, 10 Mar 2004
Source: Daily Lobo (U of NM, Edu, NM)
Copyright: 2004 Daily Lobo
Author: Jay Hunter
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Students for Sensible Drug Policy)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)



The policy of drug war experts refusing to debate the issue has been a 
problem for a long time. I'm sure it goes back all the way to Harry 
Anslinger himself. Drug Czar John Walters, shortly before the 2003 vote for 
Initiative 75 in Seattle, said, "The real issue is should we legalize 
marijuana? Let's have a national debate about that."

I'm not a scientist or a doctor (neither is Walters), but even I'd be 
willing to stand on stage opposite any person to explain the defects of our 
drug policy. And I'm not the only one. As you can imagine, every major 
organization and many individual advocates tried to take Walters up on his 
call to debate. But Walters never complied. In fact, he never even intended 
to discuss drug policy. None of the people dependent on the war on drugs 
are willing to let the public become aware of their failures.

I think Students for Sensible Drug Policy should put out full-page 
advertisements in national newspapers with the same challenge presented in 
Monday's column by Kevin Killough: any person, any time, any place.

People who are involved in the reform effort already know, but raising 
general awareness about the unwillingness of public employees to discuss 
the policies they control may create the pressure needed to force them to 
justify their existence.

Jay Hunter, Daily Lobo reader
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