Cultural myopia

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, April 11, 2005

In considering whether or not to criminalize cannabis and get some patently outrageous "findings" about cannabis on the record, please think deeply about this question: How can a substance capable of killing its users in one sitting be legal and ubiquitous, while another substance with no known lethal dose is illegal and its users persecuted and prosecuted?

Alcohol, especially in its super-potent distilled form, is a lethal drug. If anyone doubts this fact, simply Google "alcohol poisoning deaths." The attentive searcher will find many people, especially college age young people, die each year as a direct result of alcohol consumption. Yet, no one is demanding the killer drug alcohol be criminalized. Can you imagine the hue and cry if even one young person died as the direct result of cannabis consumption? How do you explain this stupefying double standard? Cultural myopia? Perhaps quid pro quo between the alcohol industry (and other legal drug pushers) and elected representatives? Does any elected public official accept money from the alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceutical industries? We need full disclosure, please.

For anyone knowledgeable about cannabis, its prohibition is the most bogus scam to be foisted on the U.S. citizenry by its elected representatives during the past century. To illustrate the absurdity of allowing alcohol to be legal and widely available while criminalizing a relatively benign plant, I pose this challenge to Messrs. Guaneli, Murkowski, Bobo, and all elected state representatives of Alaska: Let us meet at a public place of your choosing. Let this meeting be televised. I will consume a "bong hit" of the most potent unadulterated organic sinsemilla cannabis available every three minutes. You will consume a shot (one fluid ounce) of the distilled alcohol of your choice (minimum 90 proof) every three minutes. We will continue in this way for six hours. I think this televised experiment will clarify the discussion of the relative dangers of cannabis and alcohol once and for all.

John Colman-Pinning

Waldport, Ore.

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