Suzanne's Take: A Social Commentary

June 16, 1998

The following is an excerpt from my friend Nori Muster's email newsletter Pray for Peace Foundation News, June 1998 edition:

The American Civil Liberties Union has been running ads in The New York Times to challenge the marijuana prohibition. The headline of one ad asks:

“If You Had a Choice, What Would it Be,
Marijuana or Martinis?”

“Millions of Americans who are highly productive and stable clandestinely choose marijuana over martinis,” the ad reads. “But while the government classifies both substances as drugs, mysteriously one is legal while the other is not. Why should that be so?”

ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser said: “The criminal prohibition of marijuana represents an extraordinary degree of government intrusion. . . . The same people who are drinking martinis are pushing laws that would jail people who prefer a joint. Where's the morality in that?”

Since 1937, the government has criminalized marijuana use on the grounds that it is a dangerous drug. But Glasser said this claim looks more ludicrous every year. Every independent commission appointed to look into this claim has found that marijuana is relatively benign.

ACLU ads on various topics are scheduled to appear in The New York Times op-ed section once a month through December 1998.

The ads refer web surfers to the ACLU’s Freedom Network Website where visitors can post messages to a bulletin board and access background information on the subject of that month's ad.

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