Six-point plan for legalizing narcoticsMarshall Meyer's...

the Forum

June 17, 1993

Six-point plan for legalizing narcotics

Marshall Meyer's June 4 letter, "Drug questions require answers," seems to be an open invitation for a debate because he chose to send the letter to The Evening Sun. Here are a few basic points to make a stand for decriminalization of drugs.

1. Legalize any drug sold on the streets, set up a government distribution program and this will lower the price in such a way that the street dealers will be put out of business. Ridding the streets of drug dealers is a big bonus for this program.

2. Age levels have been established by our government to buy alcohol, drive automobiles, register for the armed services and much more. Why not to buy drugs?

3. Distribution of newly legalized drugs will be the responsibility of the federal government. Even though I have little faith in our elected officials, they are the ones to tax and collect on all sales.

4. Waivers can be signed at the time of sale eliminating governmental responsibility for actions taken by their new customers.

5. There should be no black market to speak of because the government distribution technique will lower prices so dramatically it would be a bad business decision to attempt to undercut their price.

6. Establishing tolerance levels and limits on amounts for sale is a typical blurb I'd expect from someone who is in or near the government.

Limitations would reduce sales and therefore cut some of the basic goals behind legalization; use taxes generated from sales to reduce the deficit, provide medical treatment and education for the drug addicts/customers.

Our country is not at all like Holland or Great Britain. We can make legalization work. Come on, we're the United States of America.

Mark H. Seymour

Baltimore

Cable cut

The unique racial and cultural diversity of Baltimore City's cable television network is threatened by a decision announced recently by the local cable carrier.

In the May 28 issue of The Baltimore Jewish Times, Marilyn Harris-Davis, community affairs manager for United Artists Cable, is quoted saying that the company intends to cancel an exceptionally high quality program called "The Nineties" that appears on channel 43 in Baltimore City.

As a city resident and cable subscriber, I have long boasted to my suburban friends about "The Nineties." "The Nineties" is one of the most exciting products of the cable revolution, giving voice to those who have long been voiceless in the major media, particularly urban minorities, gays and lesbians, artists, feminists, and pro-choice activists.

For example, recent programming has included an autobiographical film made by African-American high school students and a documentary about violence against gays and lesbians.

The points of view expressed on "The Nineties" are fearlessly controversial, and no doubt offensive to some who prefer not to be confronted by them. But that's no reason for United Artists to take the channel off the air.

Those of us who watch and appreciate "The Nineties" make up a substantial share of the viewing public and have a right to be served. Those who don't like the channel's programming should simply not watch it, and United Artists should not be permitted to cave in to their demands.

Matthew Weinstein

Baltimore

Mfume missteps

The recent actions of the Congressional Black Caucus has taken on a hypocritical aura in a government that attempts to separate religion and race from the due process of law.

The Black Caucus, led by Rep. Kweisi Mfume D-Md., has chosen to obstruct President Clinton's efforts to resolve key issues, such as energy legislation, that are unrelated and independent of his role in the Lani Guinier nomination.

The caucus' efforts to undermine progressive legislation developed for the good of the people because of the Guinier appointment is a basic misuse of its powers and purpose.

The long, hard battle for minorities to achieve political office is a victory for the efforts of this country to create a legislative body truly representing the whole of America.

Political representatives who focus on racial or religious orientation in developing the laws that govern all the people misuse the power entrusted to them.

Hopefully Mr. Mfume and the members of the Congressional Black Caucus will remember the original intention of their political comradeliness is to balance out the inequities of a minority without interfering with their primary mission to represent the interests of all.

Craig Kirby

Baltimore

Let gays serve

I recently received an impassioned appeal from a retired admiral requesting a contribution to be used to help keep homosexuals out of the military. I wrote a brief reply as follows:

"Many homosexuals have given their lives for our country -- shame on you!"

During the three years I spent in the service during World War II, I saw not one instance of a problem with gays and never heard of one.

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