Monday, December 29, 2003

Hola...

Of interest to me today is an article by law professor Paul Campos, published in the Naples Daily News, a Florida newspaper, on December 24, 2003.
In the piece, titled A War on Sanity, The Government Doesn't Even Want You to Have the Right to Protest Its Stupid War on Drugs, Campos offers a bit of insight into a bill passed by the House of Representatives on December 8, that would allow $145,000,000 of our taxes to be spent on more of those anti-marijuana ads that have been demonstrated as being ineffective, as has the DARE program, which continues to be ridiculously funded by us.

Imagine what that amount of money could do in terms of drug treatment centers for those in need. Our government pours money into prisons to house drug offenders, most of which are non-violent, while there are waiting lists for drug treatment facilities. Many states would happily prosecute and jail pregnant addicts, but can't be bothered to provide facilites for those who would like to obtain treatment for addiction. A pregnant woman has a very slim chance of finding a facility to take her.

Another aspect of this bill that should attract more attention and concern than it has is that, if it makes it to law, any public transportation provider that receives federal funding will be prohibited from accepting advertisements paid for by private citizens that suggest a view other than the government's concerning marijuana issues. No drug law reform ads allowed.

I don't smoke pot. I don't like it, makes me feel way too stupid for my taste. I have a real appreciation for mental clarity. However, I do think, write and speak. I appreciate the ability to do so independently and critically, on issues of importance to me, and to choose to be active in support of my views. This is clearly threatened by such legislature. For rest assured -- in the same way that forfeiture laws are moving into other legal areas beyond drugs, so too will this type of governmental thought and regulation.




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