Pubdate: 7 Feb 1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Section: Commentary, page 3
Author: Joseph F. Mallard


I hope some of you feel as I do about the six year prison sentence imposed
on Marvin Chavez, a spinal arthritis victim, for illegally distributing
marijuana to cancer patients in severe pain. His actions were permitted
under Proposition 215, passed by a majority of California voters, but not
recognized by the Orange County district attorney or enforcement agencies
["Marijuana co-op founder gets prison," [Front Page, Jan 30].

Chavez is an activist! Activists are people who love their country enough
to subject themselves to prison sentences for standing up for principles
and values they believe in, while the rest of us sit and watch.

Activists are heroes, not criminals. They deserve medals, not prison
sentences. Our country was founded by activists. Whether you agree with an
activist's cause is academic, once you recognize that his motivation is
social change, not personal gain.

I am a 76-year-old U.S. Navy combat veteran of WW11 I do not drink alcohol
or use drugs, so I have no hidden agenda. I am interested solely in social
justice, which was sadly missing in the case.

Joseph F. Mallard Huntington Beach

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