Debating Pot

      The Washington Times; July 30, 2003

      Letters to the Editor


      Yesterday's (July 2) Op-Ed column, "Canada, Maryland going to pot," is right on target. A good gauge of the facts of the column is how angry the legalizers get and what their comments on their pro-drug Internet sites decry.

      They resorted to name-calling and wrote vile and insulting comments about writer Robert Weiner and this column. (They posted the column on the pro-drug site - www.cannabisnews.com - and their comments follow the column.) This is a real education site for parents and grandparents to learn what young people are being told, especially about marijuana.

      It's unfortunate that Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, allowed himself to become entangled with the pro-drug web that succeeded in passing the "medical" marijuana hoax bill in Maryland - even after hundreds, if not thousands, of parents, grandparents and service organization members wrote or called every single member of the legislature and Mr. Ehrlich, in an attempt to educate them to the fact that medicines, of any kind, should not be approved by voters or legislators - or governors.

      Unfortunately, young people who watch these events get a very strong message that tells them, "Pot is OK - even with the governor." I personally contacted every member of both chambers of the Maryland legislature by e-mail and phone and hand delivered two lengthy educational pieces to every member. I received one response. It was a form letter from Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, Montgomery County Democrat, that said absolutely nothing related to the questions I had asked her.

      Maryland voters should know that no one appears to be watching their legislature. On two occasions, when I was in the gallery watching the voting sessions, there were no more than four persons observing the proceedings. During this time, Delegate Joseph F. Vallario Jr., Prince George's County Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, argued for giving drug traffickers higher points for good behavior so they could get out of jail sooner. The bill was HB 110, and it passed in the House. Please tell Mr. Vallario that "mind destruction" is a violent crime. Drugs destroy the brain.

      HB 110 later failed in committee on the Senate side, but this ridiculous bill is a demonstration that we need a "legislative watch" committee in our state and that we need more balance in the numbers between Democrat and Republican elected officials. The Maryland legislature is so out of balance that there is no discussion. There is close to a two-thirds majority of Democrats.

      Finally, Mr. Ehrlich and our Canadian friends need to hear from constituents that we do not want marijuana legalized and we believe protection of children is primary. Let the Food and Drug Administration decide what's medicine.




      Drug-Free Kids: America's Challenge