Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jul 2005
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2005 The Register-Guard
Author: Allan Erickson


After reading the July 18 article by reporter Tim Christie, "New marijuana 
group shuns potheads," I have to respond to Tom and Terry Thornhill's 
bigoted perspective concerning medical cannabis and "potheads."

In 1998, when Oregon voters overwhelmingly beat back the recriminalization 
of cannabis and passed an initiative allowing for the legal use of medical 
cannabis by this state's patients, it was because of those potheads. In a 
little over a month, more than 100,000 signatures were gathered at the last 
minute to get an initiative on the ballot opposing recriminalization in 
time for that November's election. A lot of those signatures were gathered 
by potheads.

The stereotyping portrayed by the Thornhills is exactly why cannabis - 
whether medicinal, recreational, spiritual or industrial - remains under 
federal prohibition. The un-American, oppressive and perjured origins of 
our laws criminalizing cannabis were initiated by a bigoted federal 
bureaucrat, Harry Anslinger, the nation's first drug czar. The subsequent 
70 years of anti-cannabis propaganda has made the slur "pothead" acceptable.

Pothead is no less polite in a society based on mutual respect and 
acceptance than any racially oriented derogatory term. Its use is 
indicative of how successful hatred and bigotry can be when mandated by 
government policy. I say shame on the Thornhills.


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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom