Thanks for the informative piece by Kevin Taylor, "Dreaming in Green" (4/7/05). It shows clearly that the war on drugs will never be won; it must stop.
Evidence shows marijuana to be perhaps as "harmful" as coffee. It is not like other drugs. It's time to legalize medical and personal use and stop wasting time trying to stamp it out.
As the Spokane DEA chief pointed out in your article, America's original experiment with Prohibition brought us organized crime -- which has stuck around ever since. Thanks, federal government, for nothing.
The war on drugs should have ended 30 years ago. Now we have more than 2 million Americans in our prisons, and for what? Your article touches on the heart of the matter: the "growth industry" that the war on drugs has become for our government. There are millions and millions of dollars in asset forfeiture, in reverse stings, in buying and selling drugs for the government. There are new "gadgets," new personnel and new weapons. It's no surprise that some police are fighting to stifle those who oppose the war on drugs.
But there are cops on the side of ending this war, too. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition represents many of them. Many attorneys are also on the side of true justice. Jeff Steinborn of Seattle, whose Web site, potbust.com, offers sensible, free advice to smokers and smugglers and potential victims of the war on drugs, is one of them. I urge your readers to check out Steinborn's site. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML.org) is working for change too. Any smoker who is not a member should join NORML today.
We the people will win this war, one way or another. Thanks for a timely, informative article.
Thomas Brent Andrews
Short and Sweet
In regard to Mr. Haeder and his thoughts in his letter to editor, "Killing the Messenger" (3/31/05), let me be the first of the hundreds of thousands of "murdering band of men" to simply reply: You, sir, are welcome.
Clayton T. Colliton
Washington Army National Guard
Thanks to Cara Gardner and The Inlander for the continuing coverage of the evil behemoth known as Wal-Mart, ("At War With Wal-Mart," 3/31/05). The only way people will stop supporting this company is to become educated about it. Hopefully, the recent article about the proposed Wal-Mart in Pullman will inspire people to understand the havoc that Wal-Mart wreaks.
One need only do the lightest of research to find the many offenses this company commits. By now it is fairly mainstream knowledge that when Wal-Mart comes into a small town, it crushes local businesses, sucking out the town's economic vitality and, worse, its local character. It slashes retail prices so drastically that smaller businesses cannot compete. Once it has gained a monopoly on certain items in the market, prices inevitably and unapologetically go up.
But how many know about the unbelievably unethical way they treat their workers (especially women)? What about the Wal-Mart policy of hiring illegal immigrants to do janitorial work, paying them under minimum wage and forcing them to work overtime with no pay? Wal-Mart also does not want U.S. consumers to know that its famous low prices are the product of labor hellholes, especially in China. Charlie Kernaghan of the National Committee reports that in country after country, factories that produce for Wal-Mart are the worst. And how many people have heard about how Wal-Mart relentlessly hammers its suppliers, demanding that they cut their production costs?
Obviously, Wal-Mart is not the only offender in the Big Box syndrome, but it is by far the worst offender.
It truly astounds me that thinking people are still working and/or shopping at Wal-Mart. I urge everyone who has taken the time to read this letter to follow through with a little more research on the company. Look for How Wal-Mart Is Destroying America by Bill Quinn; In Sam We Trust: The Untold Story of How Wal-Mart Is Devouring America by the Wall Street Journal's Bob Ortega; or Selling Women Short by Liza Featherstone. My guess is you won't find these on the shelf at Wal-Mart. But you will find the facts. Then, hopefully, you will take action.