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January 13, 2005
Please Distribute Widely

Gary Webb - Presente

Dear Colleague,

Narco News Co-publisher Don Henry Ford, Jr. has posted a provocative 
Reporter's Notebook entry on The Narcosphere, titled "Legalizing Drugs?"

Ford, former drug war prisoner and author of the upcoming "Contrabando: 
Confessions of a Drug Smuggling Texas Cowboy" (see his Narcosphere post from 
last week about U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and Mandatory Minimum Laws, and 
Bill Conroy's review of Ford's book, also on The Narcosphere), writes:

"The Supreme Court has taken a step in the right direction by giving judges 
more discretion at sentencing time. But we still have a long way to go. 
Unlike some, maybe most that read columns on this site, I am not in favor of 
total legalization of drugs. If I were, getting that done is an unattainable 
goal. It ain?t going to happen.

"But there are some things we might be able to get done. Perhaps getting 
marijuana decriminalized or at least reducing the penalties for getting 
caught with it to an acceptable level. Like a small fine and no jail time. 
Holland?s example seems to be working. Oddly enough, less, rather than more 
of the teen-agers in that country smoke the stuff.

"Cocaine and heroin are powerful distillates. Too damn powerful. Same with 
crystal meth. Perhaps we could push for tolerance of the herbal elements 
from which these are derived or maybe even drinks containing moderate 
amounts of these substances. Coca leaves to chew. Or a soft drink with a bit 
of cocaine in it. But in their concentrated form these are dangerous 
substances with addictive and destructive qualities. Make no mistake about 
it. Total legalization of cocaine and heroin is akin to letting people walk 
around with loaded automatic weapons...."

Read the whole thing at:

And add your comments.

My own opinion in favor of legalizing all drugs (including those I never 
wish to use) has been stated again and again. The Narcosphere, though, was 
set up for all voices to converse aloud, a place where, as Mario Menendez 
says, "your truth and my truth can make a bigger truth."

You may agree with Don Henry Ford, or you may disagree with him, but he 
makes his points coherently and intelligently and I'm interested to see a 
healthy exchange on the issue.

Co-publishers: jump in!

If you're not yet one of our 211 co-publishers, you can become number 212, 
or 213, or 214... by applying here:

The great thing about discussions on The Narcosphere is that the 
conversation takes place on a public stage. Thousands of visitors - 
including most of the journalists covering Latin America and/or the drug 
war, looking for stories to report - come to The Narcosphere daily read and 
learn. Your opinions and reports are amplified many times over through this 

Don Henry Ford has raised concerns about drug legalization that many members 
of the general public, even many sympathetic with drug policy reform, also 

This is an excellent opportunity to see the issue of legalizing drugs aired 
in the democratic spirit of The Narcosphere and Authentic Journalism.

So, hey, don't just sit there and talk amongst yourselves!

Get out there and advocate your views - whatever they are - on a wider 
public stage!
Play ball!

From somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano
The Narco News Bulletin
new email:

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