Pubdate: Wed, 10 Oct 2007
Source: Joplin Globe, The (MO)
Copyright: 2007 The Joplin Globe
Author: Allan Erickson


I have watched with bemusement the brouhaha unfolding in the pages of
the Globe over the issue of lessening the penalties for cannabis
(marijuana) in Joplin.

It's funny to me the reactionary opposition such a common-sense idea
invokes. If one seriously researches the issue, it is obvious that all
current laws dealing with this plant are absurd. These laws are all
founded on lies, xenophobic hysteria and perjured testimony before the
Congress of the United States.

If we are to be a nation of law, a nation where civility is paramount
in behavior and discussion, then should we also not have laws based on
truth with a view toward actual justice in our legal system?

If we follow bad laws, laws whose very foundations are rotten and
corrupted with no truth to them, how do we differ from petty

I would also ask, where are those among us who remember that we were
once known as "the Land of the Free"? A nation that leads the world in
incarceration (both per capita and in total numbers) has traveled far
from such a grand notion.

Finally, I would ask those who oppose this idea of decriminalization:
"Where are the successes of this New Prohibition that warrants our
following it one day longer?"

Prohibition failed once and we ended it. It is time to do so

Allan Erickson,

Drug Policy Forum of Oregon

Eugene, Ore.
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