April 14, 1998
ON MY MIND / By A.M. ROSENTHAL
Lean Back or Fight
t's nice to think that in another five or ten years maybe the right over one's consciousness, the right to possess and consume drugs, may be as powerfully and as widely understood as the other rights of Americans are."
If that thought strikes you too as nice, you don't have to do much. Just lean back and enjoy the successes of Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, who said it in 1993, and other executives of well-financed "drug reform" foundations.
Maybe he is a little optimistic about his timing. But he and others who would like now-illegal drugs to be a right certainly have made political headway since his pronouncement at the San Francisco conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of LSD.
Still, perhaps the thought that narcotics will become a basic American right strikes you as plain horrible. Perhaps you have love for your children, or theirs, or for the mental, moral and civil stability of the country in which you live.
Perhaps you will become worried about a new report from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. It shows that marijuana use among children and teen-agers is increasing, and parents don't know it, and that children and teen-agers find it much easier to get, and parents don't know it, and that among the youngsters the fear of the risks of the drug is decreasing -- and parents don't know that either.
Or, maybe you will be startled at the report's finding that parents think they talk to their children about drugs a lot more than than their children recall hearing -- and wonder if the parents remember right.
Or it could be that you are sick to the gorge of the press and TV accepting the flood of false compassion that reformers used to attain the triumph of "medicalization" of marijuana in California and Arizona.
Perhaps you know the "reformers," supported by benefactors like George Soros, Peter Lewis of Ohio and John Sperling of Arizona, plan to use the same weapon in other referendums across the country.
Then, under any of those conditions, the time has come for you to get up and fight against drugs, instead of just looking worried. Here are three ways:
1. With your votes, letters, mouths and religious and social organizations, pressure the people you elect to every level of government. Demand detailed exposure of backdoor legalization, its funders and techniques.
Ask the President, again and again and again, to become the political, passionate leader against drugs that the country lacks and so terribly needs.
Maybe he will never do it, which does not excuse us from saying it is his duty.
2. Join and support organizations that actively fight drugs and ask that Congress fully restore the funds it cut from their anti-drug education work. Pester newspapers and TV to give full hearings to the organizations and to the anti-drug case.
And if the organizations are not on the Internet, tell them they are surrendering to the crowds of legalizers who are.
(National Families in Action, an anti-drug organization, publishes "A Guide to the Drug Legalization Movement and How to Fight It," a most useful book in which I came across Dr. Nadelmann's "nice" thought. Ten dollars, Suite 300, 2296 Henderson Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30345; (770) 934-7137;