The Truth Must Overcome

RECEIVED Fri., May 20, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Re: “Weed Watch: Walters Propaganda Won't Hold Water,” by Jordan Smith [News, May 20].
    Kids using marijuana, much less the potentially deadly alternatives, are certainly a problem to be dealt with, preferably by their own parents. The governmental obsession with and gross exaggeration of the hazards of cannabis are bad public policy.
    In the simplistic logic of the prohibitionists, all cannabis use is abuse. The fact that marijuana is (thankfully) our nation's most popular "illicit drug" makes it the disproportionate target of propaganda and enforcement efforts.
    In contrast to the Office of National Drug Control Policy's preoccupation and dire warnings about cannabis dangers, Canada just introduced pure "liquid marijuana,” Sativex, for prescription. For a notable example of the crude botanical's miraculous healing effect on one troubled young person, read "Jeffrey's Journey," www.jeffreysjourney.com.
    If our drug czar is honestly concerned with cannabis users' well-being, he might consider that arrest and prosecution directly cause depression, mental illness, and even suicide. In our glutted prisons are rampant cruelty, gangs, inmate assault, and diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C. In addition to the direct cost of this madness to the treasury is the collateral damage to the convicts' grieving families.
    Walters and his ilk simply cannot acknowledge the truth about cannabis without also admitting the injustice of their drug war to date. Therein lies the biggest hurdle the truth has to overcome.
Rick Steeb
San Jose, Calif.
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