Let's Debate This Drug War

Let's Debate This Drug War
Posted by FoM on October 09, 1999 at 10:59:52 PT
Source: The Capital Times
In many senses, the debate over the United States' ineffective, expensive and destructive drug war is already on. The problem is that someone forgot to tell the politicians and the drug war bureaucrats.That the debate is on can be seen in a review of developments from just the past week:
* Last Saturday, 5,000 people marched on State Street in downtown Madison to protest against archaic laws that have condemned thousands of Wisconsinites to jail and prison for the "crime'' of possessing and using marijuana -- a substance that scientific analysis will tell you is significantly less dangerous than alcohol.Festival Blows Smoke at Anti-Marijuana Laws* On Monday, New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson traveled to Washington to inject some sanity into the nation's drug policies. Calling for legalization of marijuana and other drugs, Johnson dared to speak a truth rarely uttered by public officials, telling one audience: "I hate to say it, but the majority of people who use drugs use them responsibly. They choose when to do it. They do them at home. It's not a financial burden.''Governor Johnson Comes to Washington* On Monday, as well, it was revealed that a pair of veteran Madison firefighters had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug charges -- involving incidents not related to their work. Fire Chief Debra Amesqua, radio personality John "Sly'' Sylvester, this newspaper and a great many citizens dared to ask: "Shouldn't longtime public servants who make mistakes in their personal lives receive treatment, rather than lectures and threats from political appointees?''* All week, at Stoughton High School, students, teachers and parents have been debating a random drug testing proposal under consideration by the School Board. The award-winning school newspaper, the Norse Star, announced in an editorial: "Drug Testing? Hey, School Board, leave those kids alone!'' The editorial went on to make cogent arguments that the plan would cost too much, produce questionable results and invade the privacy of innocent students.When there is ferment from Washington to Stoughton, when thousands are in the streets, when citizens and the media question the judgment of public officials who choose draconian solutions over common sense, the debate is on.The problem is that, for the most part, elected and appointed officials refuse to engage.After Johnson, a conservative Republican, made his common-sense plea for a change in the way this country approaches drug policy, he was savaged by the bureaucrats who make their living by pursuing the drug war.White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey: "His pro-drug message runs in the face of all the hard work of millions of parents, teachers, health professionals, community leaders, coaches and clergy who are working so hard to stem drug use.''Drug Czar Takes Aim At Johnson's nonsense.The good work of parents, teachers, health professionals, community leaders, coaches and clergy to convince young people and adults not to abuse drugs is not harmed by honest dialogue.Only when people begin to talk about drugs and the drug war realistically will they begin to figure out how best to tackle a challenge that has not been met by scare tactics, tougher laws and the exponential bloating of prison populations with people who should be receiving treatment.Will a realistic discussion of drug policy lead to legalization of all drugs? Not necessarily.A honest dialogue could lead in many directions, all of them worthy of consideration.The point of opening a true national discourse on drug policy is not to reach a predetermined conclusion. The point is to bring in all the voices that are being raised on these issues, to allow them to confront one another, to believe that an open marketplace of ideas will produce the best solutions.At this point, the best thinking about drug policy is, for the most part, being rejected by those in positions of power -- despite the fact that the drug war has failed miserably.The people know this. They are crying out for a dialogue.It's time for petty politicians and pettier bureaucrats to respond -- not with insults, threats and fear-mongering, but with an acknowledgment of what the people already know: There must be a better way.October 9, 1999The Capital TimesFrank S. WorldDrug Policy Forum Of Wisconsin: Drug Legalization - 10/07/99
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #4 posted by eco on June 09, 2000 at 20:40:51 PT
Republicans lead the drug war for the most part.
Gary Johnson, the Republican governor of New Mexico was attacked most by his fellow Republicans. Do not hold your breath waiting for change to come from the Republicans. They lead the drug war for the most part. They are becoming known for this more and more, and voting them out of office will scare them away from being drug war leaders more than anything else.*U.S. Rightist Republican (GOP) Drug War. Huge LINKS list! Revised edition. GOP's holy war. Drug war supporters: rabid right, hate radio, hate television, NRA (National Rifle Association), religious right, (snortin') George Bush hypocrisy, etc.. Amnesty 2000. *WORLD DRUG WAR TABLES AND CHARTS. Revised. WITH MANY NOTES and links. [And with many notes and links about Republican drug war leadership]. *Greens and the Drug War. Worldwide. Green Party candidates, positions, platforms, etc.. Concerning the Drug War, cannabis, marijuana, etc..*Got coke? Banners. George W. Bush, drug-free since 1974. Hypocrisy with bravado. Republican drug warrior extraordinaire. PHOTOS and BANNERS! Free! For your webpages! 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Gus Graf on November 03, 1999 at 10:36:56 PT:
pot in education
what do you think of the use of pot at schools. i don't mean in high schools, but in colleges and universities? i am a college student who uses the drug almost daily, and i think it helps me to focus myself and put forth more concentration. but then i look at the burners who sit in their rooms all day and do nothing to but smoke pot and play video games, and do nothing to help their cause. what a waste.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Donna on October 31, 1999 at 22:40:10 PT:
THE ABBIE HOFFMAN MEMORIAL PISS TEST  THIS THANKSGIVING, NOVEMBER 25, 1999If the government wants to "control" our lives, tell us, what we can and cannot do "with our own bodies"; forcing us to submit to the taking of "bodily fluids" just to keep our jobs, than let's GIVE IT TO THEM!!!Join us this Thanksgiving and SEND YOUR PEE TO THE WHITE HOUSE. Just think, THOUSANDS OF "specimens, flooding our President out of "his home"!Visit our web site, listed below for, the "hows" and other important information on this action, and others.IF WE WORK TOGETHER, WE WILL WIN THIS WAR!!! 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Tom Paine on October 11, 1999 at 08:25:41 PT
GLASNOST (openness). Open up the debate!*Ya-Hooka; Activism_and_Law_Reform/News [GLOBAL cannabis/drug reformNEWS. LINKS! Clickable list of many sites with frequent news oncannabis and drug related info. From mainstream and alternativenews sources. And activist sites worldwide!].|--- ________________*TOM PAINE's Home Page. Drug War charts, tables, links. Focussedcompilations. International. Comprehensive. Just Say Know!|
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: