DIALOGUE <> Whose Rights? Let me see if I’ve got this right. Since questionable data indicates that we may not have a “serious” drug problem but merely a drug problem “that should concern us”; therefore, we shouldn’t use mine whether or not people are bringing cause individuals should be held sacred. Having been nauseated \(not at the “with it” grass smokers \(at a jazz conenjoy good music without chemical assistance, I not only no longer attend such events but wonder about whose sacred rights we are concerned with here. The “do drug” atmosphere of the liberal community makes it tough to be straight and liberal at the same time. I guess this makes me a moderate or something, anyhow I’m over 40 and clearly suspect of reactionary tendencies. Despite my apparent overconcern for the rights of those who do not wish to use drugs and do not wish their children to use them either, I still am able to enjoy your fine journal. Keep up the good work. Bil Stouffer, Box 263, San Marcos, TX 78666 Let me be the one to tell you, we ARE in the throes of a drug overdose, If you doubt it, just come spend a few hours with my older brother a babbling, hopeless idiot since a drug overdose in May, 1972. Listen to his shrieks, duck his wild attacks, clothe him, feed him and listen to his incoherent shoutings day and night. Corpus Christi should be commended for suspending students who are caught with drugs on campus. All students should be suspended who are caught with drug on campus. Drugs are peddled by organizations of passionate, profitable, true believers, and fueled by big money and high pressure propaganda. And now I am grateful that a War on Drugs is underway. And oh yes . . . another one of my brothers was critically injured in an auto accident by a drunk driver; but you’ll probably be in favor of drunk drivers, too. Yours isn’t a FREE VOICE at the Observer, it’s a CHEAP VOICE . . . AND cheap will always be shabby and totally without class. Ethel Greenway, 4242 Bonham Street, Dallas, TX 75220. Drug Law Sanity Uh oh, looks like I fit into all three types of drug law obstructionists as defined by Dr. McCree. Marijuana is a relatively innocuous drug \(and I’m not basing this belief on information published before 1974 just look at the August 1981 issue of Discover believe that people should be left alone to do as they like as long as they don’t hurt anyone but themselves; and, yes, to my shame I also have a fondness for the values that underlie the fourth amendment. Why, as a “fourth amendment ideologue” I even have the peculiar belief that we all have a right to be safe in our homes from legalized break-ins by jack-booted police agents. If we ever manage to inject some sanity into our drug law enforcement system, it will be because of articles like Mr. Garcia’s “Drug Abuse Abused: An Update on the Holy War.” He’s done a superb job of showing how little the current drug hysteria has to do with what we actually can learn about drug usage and its effects on the Texas population. But precisely because the war on drugs is a holy war, I don’t expect rational argument to have any effect on those who write our drug laws. H. Ross Perot and Governor Clements are not after drug abusers, they’re after people who don’t think and act the way they do. They can no longer smear anyone with the cry of “soft on communism” \(people tend to on drugs” and achieve the same effect as did the McCarthyites of 30 years ago. Patrick Bishop, The National College for Criminal Defense, Houston. War on Drugs Responds I have just finished reading the article “Drug Abuse Abused” by your staff reporter, Ruperto Garcia, in the December, 1981 issue of Texas Observer. In the initial half-page of his lengthy text, Mr. Garcia reports that the Texans’ War on Drugs Committee was responsible for, and lobbied for, passage of the recently enacted Texas Wiretap Law. This is a fairly common mistake, and I have frequently informed people that the wiretap law was neither conceived by the Texans’ War on Drug Committee, nor did we lobby for its passage during the legislative session. The point is that I did correct Mr. Garcia when he tele-: phoned me regarding the article. I very specifically informed him that the wiretap law was not one of the Texans’ War on Drugs’ bills. Consequently, I was unpleasantly surprised by the false assertion in his article. Also in the initial half-page of text, Mr. Garcia states that the new “triplicate prescription” law \(which was developed by the Texans’ War on Drugs Commit-: : and Schedule III prescription drugs. This statement is also false. During consideration of the bill, the War on Drugs Committee was convinced by discussions! with doctors, pharmacists and other , health care professionals that inclusion of Schedule III prescriptions would be unnecessarily burdensome. Con sequently, the law covers only prescriptions for Schedule II drugs, which are defined by statute to include only those drugs which have an extremely high potential for abuse, and which offer serious danger of damage to the user. Had Mr. Garcia taken the trouble to read the law, he would have known it was applicable only to Schedule II prescriptions. I have little personal familiarity with the confusing mass of material presented by Mr. Garica in the remainder of his lengthy, tortuous article. However, in view of the false statements in the firsthalf dozen paragraphs, I am extremely: skeptical about the accuracy of the re-‘ mainder of the information presented. At best, your staff has been extremely negligent in failing to do proper research and “forgetting” the correcting information which I provided when I was contacted. At worst, this article is a vivid example of totally irresponsible journalism. I request that you prominently display this letter, accompanied by your apology, in the next issue of The. Texas Observer. Richard E. Salwen, Texans’ War on Drugs Committee, 7171 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75230. The author responds: What is most interesting about Mr. Salwen’s letter is not his two points, but his statement that he had “little . . . familiarity” with any of the drug-related data in the rest of the article. That is the whole point of the article, which Mr. Salwen has conveniently ignored: that we are paying state money, $584,223 in 1980 and $741,703 in 1981, according to THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23
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