Home for BookRe: Gallimaufry's ''orphan'' copy of Cohen...

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December 18, 1993

Home for Book

Re: Gallimaufry's ''orphan'' copy of Cohen and Witcover's "A Heartbeat Away: The Investigation & Resignation of Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew," may I make the first request for the book, as a gift to our library?

Our library maintains, among others, two sections of special interest: (1) books about Marylanders -- biographies and autobiographies -- and (2) books written by Anne Arundel countians. We would be especially happy to have the above book detailing the Agnew investigation for our biographical section.

Our library, by the way is open three days a week, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and is staffed entirely by volunteers. It is a joint operation of the Ann Arundel County Historical and the Anne Arundel Genealogical Societies.

Mary K. Meyer

Glen Burnie

The writer is library director of the Historical & Genealogical Research Center.

Legalize Drugs

I must concur with Doris Rausch about the ''Failing Drug War'' (Dec. 4) when she criticizes D.E.A. agent Wayne Roques for his hyperbolic diatribe concerning drugs in general and marijuana in particular.

For him to make so many false claims about marijuana is inexcusable, particularly when a number of federally sponsored studies have found this plant to be virtually harmless. Moreover, a D.E.A. administrative judge, after months of testimony by physicians and patients, declared it to be ''the safest therapeutically active substance known to man.''

Mr. Roques' argument that decriminalization would promote greater use is also specious as evidenced by 20 years of legal marijuana for personal use in Alaska and decriminalization (average of $100 fine for small amounts) in 10 states.

There was no stampede of marijuana users to those states. To the contrary, they admit to saving millions of dollars by not having to pursue penny-ante marijuana dealers or their casual-use customers.

The closing sentence of your editorial that same day, ''Death of a Cocaine King,'' is correct in that ''. . . until the profit motive is denied drug runners, the violence will continue.'' Only legalization will deny that profit motive.

You also made the point that citizens have learned to shun tobacco, which proves that education not incarceration is more likely to bring about behavioral change.

It was not necessary to make tobacco illegal in order to decrease use, and the money spent on drug prohibition could be much better spent on that same type of education regarding drugs.

P. Pugh

White Marsh

Not State Funds

I would like to correct a misperception which your readers would have gotten from your article of Dec. 13 on the selection of a new president for UMAB. The article shows salaries for both Dr. Errol Reese, the outgoing president of UMAB, and Dr. Donald Wilson, the current dean of the School of Medicine, at $175,000 and $302,500, respectively, stating that Dr. Wilson's salary is the highest of any state employee. What your readers should know is that not one cent of taxpayers' money goes toward that salary.

Indeed, the School of Medicine is one of the best bargains around for Maryland taxpayers. I served from 1987 through 1992 as assistant dean for finance for the school, and when I left last December over 75 percent of the faculty's salaries were paid with non-state funds. No taxpayer's money went to either the dean's salary or any of his immediate staff. Those salaries, as well as most of faculty members' salaries, are paid from clinical practice funds and/or grant funds. For my money, that's a darn good return!

I realize that the dean's salary looks very high, especially when it is misleadingly referred to as a ''state'' salary. However, readers should know that the dean, as well as clinical faculty at the School of Medicine, could make considerably more in private practice, and without the grueling demands of teaching, research, and patient care required in academic medicine.

Ann Ashby

Cockeysville

Silly Editorial

Following the NFL's recent amusing decision to award a franchise to Jacksonville, a certain amount of petulance and tantrum-throwing was to be expected, especially in The Baltimore Sunpapers.

Ken Rosenthal and John Eisenberg picked up their toys and went home in a manly fashion: irritated yet proud. The editorial page was a different story.

The Sun is probably the most fiercely loyal to local issues of any nationally regarded paper. No wonder the Dec. 1 editorial concerned the perceived infamy of the NFL.

Its point was succinct and well-made. This, apparently, was not enough. Worked up into a snit of righteous indignation, the editors tacked on the childish coda ''The FFL.''

What was the point of this? I always thought that the point of the editorial page was to enlighten the reader when he was inclined to stick out his tongue at something. Making faces today may feel good, but it will seem silly tomorrow.

Eric V. Chubb

Harrisburg

That Stadium

I am one of the many fans who can recall the glory years of the Baltimore Colts, even before the 1958 championship ''game of games.''

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