Teens, Teachers Grill Gov. on Drugs, Pay 

Teens, Teachers Grill Gov. on Drugs, Pay 
Posted by FoM on April 29, 2000 at 08:05:25 PT
By Dale Lezon, Journal Staff Writer
Source: ABQjournal
Several teachers and students blasted Gov. Gary Johnson for low teacher salaries and his plan to legalize marijuana during a question-and-answer session at Los Alamos High School on Friday.  Johnson fired back at teachers irate over their low pay with remembrances of his father, who was a teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools.
 "He never did complain about his pay," Johnson said of his father. "He did it for something else."  Johnson was the keynote speaker at the North-Central District Student Council meeting in the school's Smith Auditorium. The district encompasses school districts stretching from Cuba to Santa Fe. About 150 students, including Student Council officers from dozens of schools, attended the meeting.  The students peppered Johnson with questions on topics ranging from drug decriminalization to school vouchers to combating violent crime.  Nancy Schick, a Los Alamos High teacher and president of the Los Alamos Federation of School Employees, said she was affronted by Johnson's suggestion that teachers were too concerned with their paychecks.  "I love this job," Schick said. "But I need to have bread on my table."  Dozens of students also questioned Johnson about the wisdom of his plan to decriminalize marijuana and lessen criminal prosecution for heroin.  His plan would allow marijuana to be taxed and would establish clinics to administer heroin to addicts. The plan, in theory, would help reduce drug-related crimes and save money currently used to prosecute and jail some drug users, Johnson said.  Robin Fellers, 18 and senior class president at Los Alamos High, said Johnson's plan would not stop drug-related crime.  "People would still try to get drugs cheaper because they would be taxed (under Johnson's proposal)," Fellers said.  Johnson said he recently backtracked on his stance to legalize heroin because people who didn't understand his proposal would "freak out" about it.  However, Johnson emphasized that his current plan does not condone or encourage drug use, even smoking marijuana.  "Don't smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs," Johnson implored the audience.  Sallie Boorman, a 17-year-old junior at Los Alamos High, said she thought Johnson's drug plan might be a way to stem drug use, but she said Johnson offered no specifics about it.  "It's good he's addressing it," Boorman said. "He's taking the first steps, but he's not got down to what he wants to do."  Johnson said one possible component of his plan would be to develop heroin-maintenance clinics where addicts could go to get the drug.  Drug use is rampant and must be controlled, and Johnson's approach may be effective, said Amber Beerly, 17, a junior at Los Alamos High.  "How much money are we willing to throw on this fire that is burning out of control?" Beerly asked. Published: April 29, 2000Copyright  1997 - 2000 Albuquerque JournalRelated Web Sites & Articles On Governor Gary Johnson:Governor Gary Johnson's Home Page New Mexico Drug Policy Foundation Schools Class On His Drug Stance Sold on Drug War Backs Off on Drugs Minutes To Air Johnson Drug Views Cuts Drug Censorship
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Comment #1 posted by Alexandre Oeming on May 01, 2000 at 07:33:40 PT:
You silly prohibitionist teens
>Robin Fellers, 18 and senior class president at Los Alamos High, said Johnson's plan would not stop drug-related crime.>"People would still try to get drugs cheaper because they would be taxed (under Johnson's proposal)," Fellers said.Ahhh, and here we have a teen politician who does what his older peers are all too fond of repeating ... let's focus on the problems and ignore the easy solutions. How do we combat black markets that spring up due to overtaxation of desireable commodities, my young ignorant friend? Well, you could start by reducing said taxes to the point that the black market is killed. This will only take place of course, when one understands fully that tolerance of its own does not necessarily mean either agreement and disagreement and THAT is a large mental and emotional step, i admit. Good luck.
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