Letters to the Editorby Tucson Citizen on Nov. 26, 2007, under Opinion
U.S. policy on pot use needs to be changed
Re: Ryn Gargulinski’s Wednesday article “Narcotics cops say Tucson’s gone to pot”:
In order to properly evaluate our nation’s drug policies, we need to compare and contrast our policies with those of another nation with substantially different drug policies.
I suggest we use the Czech Republic for comparison.
Citizens there can legally use, possess, grow or purchase small quantities of marijuana.
In the United States, many otherwise law-abiding citizens are locked in prison cages for possessing, growing or selling various amounts of marijuana.
The Czech overall drug arrest rate is 1 per 100,000 population.
The U. S. rate is 585 per 100,000 population.
The Czech robbery rate is 2 per 100,000. The U. S. robbery rate is 160.2 per 100,000 population, according to the FBI.
According to our drug war cheerleaders, tolerant marijuana laws cause people to use other, much more dangerous drugs such as meth and heroin.
Obviously this doesn’t happen in the Czech Republic. Could it be that when people can legally obtain marijuana at an affordable price, they tend not to use or desire any other recreational drugs?
Could it be that marijuana legalization actually creates a roadblock to hard drug use rather than a gateway?
Grijalva’s conservation act needs backing
I support Rep. Raúl Grijalva’s efforts to preserve our protected areas.
His Borderlands Conservation and Security Act of 2007 would provide alternatives to the Department of Homeland Security and the Secure Fence Act.
Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff waived 19 laws in order to begin construction within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
Some of those laws protect cultural resources, human health and safety, clean air and water, wildlife and environmentally sensitive areas such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
The stretch of double-layer reinforced walls and surveillance along the border would be a multibillion dollar project. There is little evidence it will keep America safe.
Grijalva’s Borderlands Act would provide experts to determine whether walls, vehicle barricades or virtual fences are most effective. Congress can secure our borders and protect our wildlife with Grijalva’s bill.
Peace movement is alive and well
Following up on the Sparks of Peace “Planet Coexist” weekend of the Peacemakers in Tucson, I am pleased by the potential to find peace and coexistence within us and the other.
As noted in Mary Bustamante’s Nov. 9 article (“Cooking up harmony”), the Tucson High students who came together with Manu, a dear Bangladeshi Muslim woman, and the Jewish-Essene teachings I brought about vegan organic living foods, represent a positive future.
I witnessed the sparks of many peace programs in Tucson that are just getting going, such as City at Peace, Inner Connection, Planet Coexist, and the Peace Every Day Initiative founded by Rebbe Gabriel Cousens, M.D., at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia.
Tucson is so inspiring. Follow the work of Jerusalem Peacemakers as this Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Druze alliance travels the world and works in Jerusalem, as positive news occurs each day.
The world is partly as you see and believe it, so see peace in the eyes of each person.
Support Kucinich on impeaching Cheney
Dennis Kucinich has proposed H.R. 333 to impeach Vice President Cheney.
Please support this impeachment procedure to avoid the needless murder of our young men and women who are serving our country and the destruction of our republic as we know it.
HILDA ZAHN SPAGNA