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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 07, 2012 7:20 AM

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End a failed war

I was very pleased to read the column"Time to Talk Pot," by Will Mattessich (DI, Feb. 3). I was quickly reminded in only a few sentences that jokes about the War on Drugs actually are not funny.

Through constant stereotyping and viral media, those who support the ending of the War on Drugs are cast as hilarious stoners who are too lazy to alter their political reality. While comedic stereotyping of various cannabis communities can be very funny, it is also very tragic, because we come to understand that there is a war occurring within the borders of our own country.

Unlike some foreign operations, this War On Drugs was declared and certified by Congress. It is a real war. It is a war of the federal government against the very citizens of this country and is a sorrowful situation. Liquor-store owners and alcohol sellers maintain a high standard of living, while a cannabis distributor faces decades in jail and loss of voting rights. The owners and shareholders of various alcohol companies enjoy record profits, while those who grow cannabis face a continually changing web of laws that threaten their freedom, safety, and property.

It is time to end the insanity of the Drug War. It is time that our local government realize that not all federal money is good money and stop accepting funds that further the racist aspirations of the federal War on Drugs. The program of police searches on Interstate 80 is a good example of a program we could do without. How could the police not be racially or culturally stereotyping when embarking on a program such as this?

Our civil liberties, the quest for racial justice and equity among the laws in regards to mind altering substances, these things are much more important that some Nancy Reaganesque notion of "just say no." The War on Drugs is just that: a war. And it is time for this failed war to end.

Jarrett Mitchell
Iowa City resident


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