Editorial: Thanksgiving in a Time of (Drug) War 11/20/98

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(Due to highly positive response, we are re-running our Thanksgiving editorial from one year ago, with a short note added at the end. You can here these editorials read in Adam's own voice, in DRCNet's weekly radio show, online at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.)

As this is the last issue of The Week Online before the American holiday of Thanksgiving, we thought we'd leave our readers with a list of things for which to be thankful.

If neither you nor someone you love has had to decide between the relief of pain, the suppression of life-threatening nausea, or the loss of sight, and the prospect of risking arrest and conviction under state or federal marijuana laws, give thanks.

If neither you nor someone you love has had the experience of armed agents of the state kicking in your door, terrorizing your home's occupants and damaging your personal property, give thanks.

If neither you nor someone you love has contracted injection-related AIDS, or Hepatitis, because there was no legal source of clean needles for themselves or a present or past sexual partner or a parent, give thanks.

If neither you nor someone you love has been the victim of Prohibition-related violence or crime, give thanks.

If neither your child nor another child that you love has been lured by the siren song of the black market, or by gangs, or been shot at by a law enforcement agent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (and for being the wrong color), or been saddled with a life-long criminal record for youthful experimentation, or been banished from school for possession of an aspirin, or been tried in court as an adult, give thanks.

If neither you nor someone you love has had property taken by the state without so much as being charged with an offense, give thanks.

If neither you nor someone you love has had to suffer the indignity of urinating in a cup, on demand, for the
privilege of maintaining menial employment, give thanks.

If neither you nor someone you love has sought drug treatment and found that it was unavailable to those of
modest means save through the processes of the criminal justice system, give thanks.

If you and everyone that you love can go through this list and be thankful for each and every entry, know that you are among a shrinking group of Americans who have managed to avoid some of the most common consequences of the War on Drugs. But know too, that your tax dollars, in ever-increasing amounts, are helping to make the number of citizens like you smaller each year. So give thanks. But remember too that there is work to be done. Happy Thanksgiving.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director

P.S. In this time of renewed hope, we also give thanks to all of those who helped to make this past election day a turning point for drug policy reform, and all who came before them and who gave of themselves, their time and their energies to educate their neighbors on some of these important issues. We at DRCNet would also like to give thanks to all of you who have supported our work. We hope that if you have, you will continue to do so, and that if you have not, you will consider a small donation as the movement kicks into high gear. Together, with the truth, we will prevail. Thank you.

-- END --
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Issue #68, 11/20/98 Federal Court To Decide on Legality of Testimony for Leniency Deals | Amnesty International Report: Too Many Children Incarcerated in America | Government Health Officials Deny Marijuana and Pain Study, Again | Swiss to Vote on Drug Legalization | Australian Officials Call for Heroin Maintenance | Methadone Support and Advocacy Network Request for Proposals (RFP) | Philadelphia Bar Association Holding Medical Marijuana Forum 1-Dec | And the Winner is | Editorial: Thanksgiving in a Time of (Drug) War

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