Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998
Date: 07/16/1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Author: Stanley F. Kern

Editor -- Kudos to Thomas O'Connell for his excellent letter in the
July 9 Chronicle attacking the ``War on Drugs.'' Is there any other
more pressing political issue in this country? Why is this subject so
conspicuously absent from media scrutiny? While we get so caught up in
relatively trivial sex scandals, this ``war'' is continuing unabated
with disastrous consequences all around.

Most drug arrests are of nonviolent users who are too often given
stiff prison sentences. This corrupting process keeps the police from
fighting real crime, the courts from trying dangerous criminals and
the jails from keeping the real thugs off our streets. And it doesn't
deter illegal drug use anyway!

When will we come to our senses? Even the medical use of marijuana,
overwhelmingly approved by California voters, is still illegal. Why?
I'm afraid that our only recourse is a risky one: to elect to public
office only those with enough courage and principle to do the right
thing. Who? A good man like Dennis Peron, ignored when not ridiculed
by the media, lost big in the Republican primary for governor. Thanks
for trying, Dennis.

Daly City