Pubdate: Tue, 23 Dec 2008
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)
Copyright: 2008 Lee Enterprises
Author: William Conde


An Open Letter To President-Elect Obama:

Conspicuous in its absence has been any intelligent dialogue
concerning one of our largest financial drains and human rights
violations: The USA's longest (decades long), most expensive (hundreds
of billions annually with totals now into the trillions of U.S.
dollars), with by far the largest number of casualties (millions of
families and lives destroyed annually) of any war to date.

Must we mention the hit on the rest of the world? More than 3,000
brutal executions of police, prosecutors, journalists, politicians and
more, this year so far in Mexico alone.

The war on drugs has created and financed world wide ruthless, violent
drug cartels and mafias, while corrupting politicians, police, youth
and sometimes entire cultures. For what purpose were these laws
created? Are we now better off than before this war? When was the last
time you took a count of the freedoms lost, the violence created, all
to enforce the war that was never meant to be won.

The war on drugs is a blatantly unconstitutional policy that creates
and supports widespread violent crime and corruption. At what expense
will this war continue? The inflated prices paid for otherwise
inexpensive products because they are illegal, instead of paying rent,
food or whatever, billions upon billions of untaxed dollars removed
from the mainstream, police time and expense, court time and expense,
not to mention the expense of incarceration, or least we forget secret
police, loss of privacy and an unbelievably long list of freedoms
lost. It should be put to rest, now.

What if you, our president-elect, had been caught with a joint of pot
during the time that you admittedly experimented with illegal
substances? Would you be where you are today? I doubt it! So tell me,
how many brilliant, talented lives have had their chance to achieve
the American Dream quashed? How many otherwise good people will be
"not allowed to participate in the mainstream"? What have we lost?
What have we gained? What have we done?

The economy, the environment, human rights, want to solve some
problems? Stop all the wars, legalize and plant hemp for starters.

Men can marry with men and women with women. Children's lives can be
taken while in their mothers' womb. Young people's lives sacrificed in
war, for corporate greed. But I can't smoke a joint in my front room.

End the drug war.

William Conde,  Belize

Conde, formerly of Coburg Road near Harrisburg, says he is now a
single father living in Central America "after losing two thriving
corporations and being driven from the USA by an overzealous sheriff
because of pot politics."
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