Pubdate: Fri, 06 Aug 1999
Source: Norfolk Daily News (NE)
Copyright: 1999 Norfolk Daily News
Contact:  525 Norfolk Ave., Norfolk, Nebraska 68702
Fax: (402) 371-5802
Author: Arthur Sobey


Dear Editor,

In his letter of Friday, July 30, "Lost its mind," Michael Bernhardt
begins by chastising the Daily News for practicing the highest form of
free-speech journalism; room for opposing views, and ends by assigning
moral qualities to a plant; that somehow marijuana is "wrong."

Marijuana isn't right or wrong. My goodness, it's just a plant. It is
a God-given resource for living. It was put here on earth to use just
like all other plants. Genesis 1:29 speaks thusly of
hemp/cannabis/marijuana and other plants: "Behold I have given you
every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and
every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food."

According to the 1998 Monitoring The Future study, an annual federally
funded student self-reporting drug survey done through the University
of Michigan by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 90% of 12th
graders considered marijuana to be fairly easy or very easy to get.
90%!!! After thirty years of marijuana prohibition, 90% of high school
seniors say it's "EASY" to score pot. As an adult who understands the
black market, I agree with their analysis. I submit that our drug
control problems can't get any worse than they are today.

I don't know about the rest of you folks, but I am sick and tired of
wasting tens of billions of dollars every year for a drug policy that
simply doesn't work; a drug policy that puts our children at greater
risk than no policy at all. After a 30 year long civil war against 70
million marijuana users and their families, over 13 million arrests
for marijuana crimes, an eightfold increase in prison inmates, after
the expenditure of a trillion dollars on marijuana prohibition, what
do we have to show for our hard-earned tax money???

Drugs are cheaper, more available and stronger than ever before, and
school children with $20 can buy marijuana or any other drug, 24 hours
a day, seven days a week, anyplace in the USA. It sounds more like a
drug non-control policy. What kind of fools are we to tolerate
government stupidity of this magnitude?

It's long past time for a change in drug policy. What we have been
doing simply doesn't work. Our responsibility to our children demands
we find a better way.

How about...Regulate and educate instead of incarcerate?


Arthur Sobey

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