"SIMPLE 'SIRIS WANTS TO KNOW."



A CRIME TO KNOW THE TRUTH?

Simple 'Siris asks:

If the sensitive intelligence information on which our government's policies are actually made -- that is, the truth -- is kept so carefully guarded that to know and reveal it could be punished as an act of treason, does it not inescapably follow that what is told to us as the government's position must be something other than the truth?




A LAW AGAINST EXTRA PILLS?



The natural drugs, opium, cocaine, and marijuana, are not the only ones which can be abused. Among the most dangerous are those manufactured by drug companies as medicine. Though controlled by prescription, they are made in quantities far exceeding our prescription need. The extras are sold to other countries which have weaker accountability laws, then brought back into this country as black-market street drugs, like Seconal, Tuinal, Qaaluud, Placidyl, and Amytal, to name a few which are potentially lethal if overdosed.

Simple 'Siris asks:

To stop the deadly flow of black-market pharmaceutical drugs on the streets, why not attack them at the source by making it a crime for the big drug corporations to make more than our prescription need calls for?



THE THOUSAND-DOLLAR QUESTION



Who says crime doesnít pay? Consider these options, which face teens and young adults in your town today. Letís say you saved your allowances and birthday presents, and you now have a High School diploma and $1000.

A: You can put the money into a savings account at the bank, and after one year, you will have made about $50. Wow.

B: You can buy a junk car for $800, spend $200 on some wardrobe, and get a minimum-wage full-time job. After deductions and the costs of going to work, you can take home about $100 a week.

C: You can buy a pound of marijuana, break it into ounces at $100 each, sell a bag or two a day by spending a few hours hanging out with friends, and double your money in a couple of months.

Simple 'Siris asks:

If we are trying to create a drug-free community, what could be stupider than making drug-dealing the fastest and easiest way for young people to get money?




OUTLAW TOBACCO?



Our government has made marijuana illegal by declaring it is too dangerous to let the citizen make up his own mind about using it. Tobacco, as a major cause of heart and lung disease, is the leading cause of death in America, killing more people every year than all of the other drugs together, and war and murder thrown in too. What would happen if we then made tobacco illegal also? If we outlawed cigarettes today, would the result tomorrow be fewer smokers, or more criminals? Would it stop people from smoking -- or create an angry smokers-rights movement? Would it prevent folks from growing it -- or would politicians and cops in North Carolina protect their friendsí and familiesí secret crops...for a piece of the action. If a pack of cigarettes cost fifty bucks -- about what the same amount of marijuana costs today -- a suitcase full would be worth about twenty-five grand. People become black-marketers, robbers, even murderers for that much loot. Would it then be fair to say that tobacco had caused all those crimes?

Simple 'Siris asks:

Are the tragedies, the crimes and the punishments which take place in the dope business the result of the smoke...or of the heat?





MUST DRUG DECISION MAKERS BE INCOMPETENT TO GET THEIR JOBS?



Everyone agrees that drugs and the drug trade are causing great problems in our society today. The decisions we use to solve those problems are made by our most senior policy makers -- from the President down. However, if a candidate for President, or for Congress, or the Supreme Court, or the DEA, or any of our law enforcement agencies stands up in public and says, "I tried marijuana myself some years ago," that candidate is declared morally unfit to hold the office. If a candidate for the Farm Bureau revealed he had never been a farmer; if a candidate for Secretary of Defense revealed he had never been a soldier or seen war; if a candidate for Federal Trade Commission revealed he had never held a job in business, wouldnít we say those candidates were incompetent to hold their offices? Yet when it comes to drugs, one of the primary requirements for holding the offices which make the decisions which affect the lives of every one of us -- not just the drug users, but all of us -- is a confession of total lack of personal first-hand knowledge of the subject. Our zero-tolerance policy has placed us all in the hands of the deliberately uninformed.

Simple 'Siris asks:

If politically-correct obedience and personal ignorance of the subject are the requirements for getting the drug-regulation jobs, then how can we expect to get any results other than dictatorial policy based on incompetent opinion?



THE WAR IS ON DRUG BUSINESS COMPETITION



An ounce of marijuana at $100 is about the standard size purchase. It will make about fifty joints, and will last from two weeks to a month. If you smoked it all up at once, you would probably wake up with your mouth tasting like hippies camped there all night.

A standard purchase of prescription Seconal, Qualuud, Placidyl, Nembutal, Valium, or Tuinal may run in the same general price range, intended to last about the same time. These are intended to do the same thing -- mood control, relaxation, freedom from anxiety, and sleep. But if you take all of a single purchase at once, any of those listed could kill you.

The pot-peddler is locked up, stripped of liberty, voting franchise, security clearance, bondability, insurability, pilotís license, firearm ownership, and whatever property or vehicles he may own. The pill-seller is a respected citizen with a secure income. The big difference? He and his products have been given license by the state, and with it protection from competition -- enforced by armed troops, and the courts which command them.

Simple 'Siris asks:

Why are the illegal drugs only those which can be grown and used without a doctor, manufacturer, inspector, regulator, packager, wholesaler, pharmacist, and tax collector? Are marijuana, opium, coca, psilocybin, and peyote banned because they grow free -- and none of those guys get their protected piece of the action?


WAR ON DRUGS AS FOREIGN POLICY?



The prohibitionary war against drugs drives prices up. This disrupts the economies of countries where they grow, by making drugs the most valuable crop possible, and the peasantís only chance at rising above poverty. It virtually guarantees that everyone who can grow it will do just that. Having lured them into the drug market with our consumersí money, America then uses the taxpayersí money to force them back out of it by poisoning their fields and paying the local General to send troops out to control them by force. The opportunity for the General to take over the drug market, and thus control the country, is obvious. If our foreign policy is supposed to be based on promoting democracy and free enterprise in the world, how could we do worse than take these actions which encourage corrupt military police regimes in the countries of the Third World?

Simple 'Siris asks:

Is America morally justified in arming foreign governments and turning them against their own people to prevent Americans from abusing themselves with drugs?



IS THE MEDICINE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE?


Prosecuting drug users as criminals has not stopped people from using drugs, but instead has created huge and powerful criminal businesses.

Using drugs will not by itself make a person dangerous to society. Suffering six years in prison for so-called self-abuse can make an angry, anti-social person of almost anyone.

Prisons are universities for organized crime, and many who go into them as petty drug-use offenders come out as bitter sophisticated criminals.

Because drug users are defined as criminals, millions of American youth now see themselves as outside the law, and they view Government as an irrational and oppressive force to be feared and hated. What could the drugs themselves possibly do to be worse for a nation than that?

Using enforced prohibition to treat drug abuse is like using a power sander to treat acne. It gets rid of the zits, all right, but...

Simple 'Siris asks:

Is prohibition of drugs is causing more damage to our society than the drugs themselves? And if so, what might work better to solve the real problems of drug abuse?



DEATH SENTENCE FOR DEALING?


Would the death sentence for drug dealing stop the traffic? Put fifty thousand dollars in small bills and a briefcase full of cocaine into the same secret room without the protection of public scrutiny or law, and it draws predators like flies. Lots of folks will kill for that much loot all over the world, and for a dealer to know the US government is officially adding itself to the list is merely an ironic footnote to the accepted risks of conducting business. Itís no big deal.

One certain result would be increased violence. Most people who deal drugs are not killer psychos, but ordinary folks, and if they get busted, they take their lumps and do their time. But if getting busted meant a death sentence, they would have nothing to lose by trying to kill the arresting officer to get away.

Simple 'Siris asks:

Would making drug-dealing a capital crime be an effective deterrant, or would it just be a death sentence for the working cop?



IS DRUG CRIME WORSE THAN OTHER KINDS?


One killer put six bullets into a person for a forbidden sexual relation. A second killer put six bullets into a person for climbing to the top of the Capitol and burning The Flag. Another killer put six bullets into a person over a drug deal.

Was the first killer justified, because of morality -- or was it lustful jealousy which led him to declare murder a fair wage for infidelity? Was the second killer justified, because of patriotism -- or was it bigoted pride that led him to judge, sentence, and execute? As for the third killer, the motives most likely are simple greed, or payback for betrayal. Those motives are not caused by drugs. They are unavoidable elements of doing business in any highly-desired commodity forbidden by law. Making drugs legal will not stop people from killing for greed, nor for lust, pride, nor recreation. But it would stop people from killing each other for drugs.

Simple 'Siris asks:

Is there something special about drugs that makes it worse to commit crime because of them, than to commit the same crime for some other reason?



PRESIDENTIAL PARDON FOR POTHEADS?


Of all the nations of the world, America imprisons the highest percentage of its population. Our court dockets are backed up months, our prisons jammed, and costs of more prisons go up and up. For simple crimes of disobedience to laws against self-abuse, for small drug crimes, relatively innocent lambs are forced to lie down with lions -- literally, sometimes. The naive young adult who goes into prison for selling dope to his friend is likely to come out a bitter sophisticated criminal, filled with resentment for an unjust society. The cost to the taxpayer of that destructive incarceration is higher than the average national wage.

Simple 'Siris asks:

To relieve our courts and jails of a huge burden, and to stop turning small-time "self-abusers" into seasoned ex-cons, how about asking for a blanket Presidential pardon for all offenders now in jail for simple possession and use of drugs?