#215 Activist Gives Ann Landers Advice On The Drug War

Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001
Subject: # 215 Activist Gives Ann Landers Advice On The Drug War

Activist Gives Ann Landers Advice On The Drug War

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PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE
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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #215 Tuesday, July 10, 2001

The reform message was distributed around the world this week as the
most prolific author in the MAP published letter archive explained how
the drug war endangers children in an Ann Landers column. Robert
Sharpe responded to an earlier Landers column featuring drug war
propaganda by a DEA bureaucrat.

Landers seemed sympathetic to Sharpe’s points, and she also published
a number of varying views on Ecstasy. Please write your own letter to
offer Ann even more information on the counterproductive nature of the
drug war.

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Contact Info:

Source: Ann Landers
Contact: annlanders@creators.com

You can also send snail mail to your local newspaper that carries the
Ann Landers column.

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ARTICLE

Pubdate: Mon, 09 Jul 2001
Source: Sun Herald (MS)
Copyright: 2001 The Sun Herald
Website: http://web.sunherald.com/content/biloxi/2000/12/28/pageone/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/432
Author: Ann Landers

ECSTASY, RAVES ELICIT PERSONAL RESPONSES

Dear Ann Landers:

This is in response to the letter from DEA administrator Donnie
Marshall about ecstasy. The ecstasy knockoff known as PMA that has
been taking the lives of young Americans is today’s version of bathtub
gin. The black market has no controls for quality or user age. Unlike
legitimate businesses that sell alcohol, illegal drug dealers do not
ask for ID. They push trendy, synthetic “club drugs” when given the
chance. The drug war fails miserably at its primary mandate:
protecting children from drugs.

The Netherlands has successfully reduced overall drug use by
regulating and taxing marijuana as a legal drug and establishing age
controls. Politicians should stop worrying about the message drug
policy reform sends and start thinking about the children. – Robert
Sharpe, MPA, Program Officer, the Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy
Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Dear Robert Sharpe: Thanks for your interesting viewpoint. I hope your
letter will wake up some of those “sleeping beauties.” Here’s more on the
subject:

From Dallas: Ecstasy is fun. It gives you an overwhelming sense of
happiness and love. True, it’s not real, but so what? If you take ecstasy,
be sure you get it from a trusted source and drink lots of water. Also,
don’t take any alcohol with it. It could result in brain damage or death.

Johnstown, Pa.: I am a senior in high school and have been going to
raves almost weekly. I took my mother to a rave, and we danced until 5
a.m. She had the time of her life. We were drug-free and surrounded by
friends.

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio: I am 19 and have been attending raves for two years.
People go for the music, not the drugs. Security personnel frisk everyone.

Nashville: It’s been two years since my experience with ecstasy, and I am
still in therapy. I was almost raped and have lost my short-term memory.

Sydney, Australia: Here in Australia, there are RaveSafe organizations that
provide guidelines on how to stay safe while using ecstasy, including the
need to drink water to prevent dehydration. You also can buy testing kits
that will tell you if the pills contain MDMA or something more dangerous.

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.: While the letter about ecstasy was valid, I
would like to point out that glowsticks are not a dependable sign of
ecstasy use. Glowsticks are very popular dance props with teen-agers
who listen to techno, electronic or rave music.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: A lot of ravers use drugs, but it is not fair to
label all of us as drug users. I am 17 and go to raves every Saturday,
and I don’t use drugs. Ecstasy is available in lots of places,
including rock concerts and college parties. If I want ecstasy, I
don’t have to go to a rave to get it.

Oakland, Calif.: If ecstasy were legal, rave promoters and staff would
be able to help injured kids without fear of legal reprisal. People
are worried they will be arrested if they take someone to the hospital
or call 911. That’s the real problem.

Cincinnati: Some raves let you in for a reduced fee if you bring canned
goods for food drives. Others raise money for local charities. Ravers have
a saying, P.L.U.R., which means Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.

New York: I used ecstasy for five years, but only on weekends. I often felt
depressed on Monday mornings, but continued to take ecstasy because it was
so pleasant. This is classic addicted behavior. I can no longer ignore the
effect it has had on my health. My hair is thin and breaks off easily. My
skin is sallow, and I have perpetual acne. Due to the grinding, my teeth
have become crooked and sharp. Ecstasy is not worth the misery you suffer
later on.

To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit
the Creators Syndicate web page at http://www.creators.com

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SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Ann Landers,

Thank you for publishing Robert Sharpe’s outstanding letter in
response to the letter from Donnie Marshall, the outgoing DEA
Administrator.

Our policy of drug prohibition has proven to be just as
counterproductive as alcohol prohibition. Illegal drug buyers are
buying drugs of unknown quality, unknown potency and unknown purity.
Not unlike the bathtub gin our grandfathers bought that resulted in
needless deaths and blindings.

Best regards, Kirk Muse contact info

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IMPORTANT: Always include your address and telephone number
Please note: If you choose to use this letter as a model please modify
it at least somewhat so that the paper does not receive numerous copies
of the same letter and so that the original author receives credit for
his/her work.
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TARGET ANALYSIS Ann Landers

Ann Landers is syndicated in hundreds of newspapers around the world.
The value of a published letter is difficult to calculate, but it is
tremendous.

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Prepared by Stephen Young – http://www.maximizingharm.com
and Kirk Muse -www.drugwarinfo.com
Focus Alert Specialists