Pubdate: Wed, 07 Jul 2004
Source: Central Florida Future (Orlando, FL Edu)
Copyright: 2004 Central Florida Future
Author: Anthony Lorenzo


Illicit drugs are bad for most people when used in excess ["Reagan
Legacy Part II," Reader Views, June 30].

The vast majority of people who do drugs, including alcohol and
caffeine, use them responsibly. The "scourge," as Tyler Van Vorhees
refers to drugs, is all imaginary. Prohibition is just another way to
oppress young, poor, mostly minority Americans in our country who have
few opportunities besides minimum wage dead-end jobs or selling drugs
for a hearty profit.

The point, however, is that the war on drugs is not able to be won
without sacrificing all of our rights. The point is, we spend close to
$100 billion annually on this war now, and drugs are becoming cheaper
and more pure at the same time (both heroin and cocaine, the two most
dangerous substances). The point is that more than half of all drug
arrests are for marijuana, a substance that is relatively safe
compared to alcohol and caffeine if only deaths and health
complications are considered.

Black males receive longer sentences and have higher conviction rates.
We now have more than 2.1 million people living in cages. Three
percent of children have a parent in prison.

I just don't see your point of how drugs are the scourge of society.
Few people use cocaine or heroin. Marijuana is not a scourge, unless
you are getting all your information from the Reefer Madness videos.

We need to end marijuana prohibition, and see what impact it has. In
the Netherlands, use has declined and the average age of people doing
drugs is much older when they are able to make more responsible decisions.

As for Reagan installing dictators in Central America, Van Vorhees is
dreaming trying to justify such actions. Perhaps someone else bought
that it was a necessary evil, but I see the Communists in Russia as a
reason to justify military spending. Apparently he doesn't question
people in power and assume they all have high ideals. In fact, if you
go back even further, we invaded Russia and sent troops in during
their revolution. They had a reason to mistrust us. It is the
international police mentality that is turning the world against us.
We have tampered with many nations and sown seeds of war and
destruction. Reagan is just one chapter.

In fact, Van Voorhees' letter sickens me by invoking the name of God
and stating it is OK to kill people to stop communism. Nowhere in the
Bible does it instruct people that they may attack others who have not
at the very least attacked them. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus
Christ or God state that the ends justify the means. Nowhere does it
say torturing other people is OK. Nowhere did Jesus or any of the
prophets teach that serving God means building an imperialistic
empire. And he has the nerve to invoke the name of God? Perhaps he is
referring to another God, like Apollo or something?

Apparently small-minded individuals feel pride in our government
expanding by invading and taking over small Third World countries and
being able to manipulate their elections to circumvent the will of the
people there. And the people in Iraq have just been invaded; I don't
see how we can call them terrorists. Perhaps if the British had won
when the founding fathers were fighting for independence, they would
be called terrorists today. Using these buzzwords that play on
people's fears is a great tactic of propaganda. I don't think college
students are buying it.

Anthony Lorenzo
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin