Pubdate: Mon, 25 Aug 2014
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Copyright: 2014 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: Gary M. Burruss
Page: A15


In the case of marijuana activists Chris Goldstein and Don DeZarn, 
U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe used the defense's overblown 
rhetoric, comparing the defendants' civil disobedience to that of 
Mohandas Gandhi, against them ("A Gandhi analogy fails to sway judge 
in marijuana case," Aug. 21). This was a cheap shot, and it exposed 
the judge's lack of concern for the hundreds of thousands of citizens 
who have been persecuted, incarcerated, and marginalized by the war on drugs.

The drug war has had the same effect as the Jim Crow laws that 
incarcerated and denied rights to people of color for decades. When 
Rufe denigrated these defendants, they truly did become victims of 
the drug war, and she the point of a misguided spear. Conveniently 
for the judge, these two defendants were white, while the majority of 
the drug war's victims are brown or black. Therefore she could safely 
ignore issues such as police repression by class and race, arbitrary 
and selective enforcement of the law, and anything that smacks of 
legitimate dissent in the defendants' case.

I want to thank Goldstein and DeZarn for their honest attempt to 
bring much-needed attention to these subjects. Unlike most others in 
their situation, they will probably have very few problems paying the 
fines and meeting the many requirements of long and needless 
probationary supervision. What an appalling, misdirected waste of the 
courts' money and time.

Gary M. Burruss, Manahawkin
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