Pubdate: Sun, 10 Apr 2005
Source: Juneau Empire (AK)
Copyright: 2005 Southeastern Newspaper Corp
Author: Leo Helmar


As a highly consistent reader of the Juneau Empire, it is deeply
troubling that the only mention of the proposed House Bill 96 and
Senate Bill 74 I have seen, which would in effect re-criminalize
casual marijuana use, is encapsulated in Nancy Andison's poignant letter.

Perhaps this issue does not merit the attention of the triumph of
journalism that is the Empire, and I know there are some real
hot-button local issues that have the layout editors scratching their
heads as to where they are going to find the room to publish the
fourth or fifth item on "Tank⠴he dog, what really happened in
Dredge Lake slaying." Obviously that should take precedent over some
silly thing like rights of local dopers.

Alaska should have a state government that respects the independent
spirit of those of us who wander its valleys and hills enough to know
that we relish the privacy of our homes. There is a measure of
additional peace that many assume to be inherent in living in these
remote hinterlands, uncongested by population density and its
associated evils. I believe that our laws and governance should
reflect these yearnings.

In addition to the philosophical problems I have with the bills, there
are more concrete and truly pressing reasons to oppose this attempt at
constricting our liberties. In Section 2, Article 1 of the findings
portion of HB 96, it feebly argues that marijuana "has addictive
properties similar to heroin." This is the foundation of their logic?
Anyone who has ever witnessed heroin addiction in as cursory a manner
as seeing a junkie inhabiting a gutter writhing in agony knows this to
be an utter falsehood.

This very same article proposes rather nebulously that "marijuana has
many adverse health and social effects," and while there may be a
modicum of truth to that statement, it is laughable considering the
disease that is this state's alcohol problem. Marijuana may give you
the munchies, but at least you can be sure it's not expunging your

Have another one senator; sure is easy when it's socially acceptable.
You can just click your heels, and Johnnie Walker stops by for a chit-chat.

Remember who the government is really beholden to. Who knows what dark
crevasse of special interest these bills crawled out of, but it's not
in the best interest of Alaskans.


- ---
MAP posted-by: SHeath(DPFFLorida)