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The voters of California succeeded in passing a proposition to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana as prescribed by doctors. The passing of Proposition 215 seemed to symbolize a promising trend toward knowledge of the substance. However, after reading an article by Eric Schlosser in the April issue of Atlantic Monthly, I have been shocked with the reality of what is occurring elsewhere.
Many of us are aware of the idiocy of our legal system treating marijuana offenders worse than violent criminals. I doubt, however, that many Americans are truly conscious of how some peoples’ lives have been shattered because of current practices in the so-called “drug war.” Now, about 15 years since its beginning, the “war on drugs” has become a war on personal freedom and toes the line of authoritarianism. On the brink of the 21st century, this is not a good sign for preserving our future, nor that of democracy.
In 1989, a small business owner and Vietnam veteran, Douglas Lamar Gray, who had only petty crimes on his record was sentenced to life in prison without parole after buying one …