#222 Changing Government Priorities

Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001
Subject: # 222 Changing Government Priorities

Changing Government Priorities


DrugSense FOCUS Alert #222 Wednesday, 19 September 2001

As people in the United States and around the world reflect on the
tragic events of last week and wonder how their governments could have
so failed to protect us all, the demand to evaluate priorities escalates.

How the drug policy reform community can contribute to this demand for
changes in priorities without causing a backlash is being debated by
many reformers now.

Daniel Solano of Police Officers for Drug Law Reform has suggested a
step we can take, by contacting both the media and our elected
officials to request the transfer of federal agents from drug war
duties to being sky marshals. Dan points out that these agents would
require little training before being placed on the job. But new hires
for sky marshals require months to qualify and train.

“There is a commitment to try to get more sky marshals in the air as
soon as possible,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House
Transportation aviation subcommittee.

Plus there must be many tasks suited for law enforcement at all levels
of government who are currently engaged in fighting the War on Drugs
but who could be working on tasks designed to reduce the threat from

How well have we been served by our government – what threat analysis
– placed such a premium on the arrest of cannabis users that they
became a focus for the large majority of the $40 billion spent on the
war on drugs each year – all while as dozens, if not hundreds, of
terrorists lived among us, making and training for their evil plans?

Thus we encourage you to take up Dan’s suggestions. The elected
officials who are with us on this have repeatedly emphasized that
contacts with them by their electorate by means personal visits, phone
calls, fax and mail generally carry much more weight than email.

Please also write careful letters to the editor suggesting a need for
a change in priorities in the use of our law enforcement assets now.

Elected officials read the newspapers, and those of the area they are
elected to serve most carefully. Readers of your published letters
react – and may well contribute to the contacts with those elected

( Letter, Phone, fax etc.)

Please post a copy your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list (sentlte@mapinc.org) if you are subscribed. You may
subscribe to this list at http://www.mapinc.org/lists/index.htm#form

If you choose not to subscribed to the list, please E-mail a copy of
your letter directly to MGreer@mapinc.org. Your letter will then be
forwarded to the list with so others can learn from your efforts and
be motivated to follow suit

This is VERY IMPORTANT as knowing how many letters have been sent is
one of the only ways we have of gauging our impact and effectiveness.

Contact Info

Today we are not asking you to write to a specific newspaper in
response to a specific article or opinion item. Instead we are asking
that you write to your local and state newspapers, as well as those
newspapers which consider themselves as having a national market.

The easy way to obtain newspaper contact information is to use MAP’s
new Source Directory at


There you can click on the word ‘contact’ to obtain the contact
information for over a thousand newspapers. By using the List by Area
drop down you may focus on your state. Note that the counts of drug
and drug policy related news clips in the MAP archives gives a very
rough idea of the publication’s level of interest in the subject.

If you wish to see the general nature, and lengths, of letters
published by a newspaper go to http://www.mapinc.org/lte/ and use the
search feature to find the newspaper. When you find the first
published letter from a newspaper, note that there is a link at the
bottom along with a count of the published letters for the newspaper.
This link is easy to use to find more examples.



To the Editor;

I read that many DEA agents were pulled off of their task of watching
the sick going in and out of west coast medical marijuana buyers clubs
last week and rushed to take part in the investigation of terrorists.

To help secure our travel safety, sky marshals are now to be found,
FBI background checks conducted, and then trained, and put our
commercial airlines – a task that will take many months if new persons
are hired.

But already well qualified DEA, FBI and other federal agents busy
watching or busting marijuana users could be moved quickly, with the
same pay and status, to permanent jobs anti-terrorist tasks, including
being sky marshals. Let us ask our elected officials to use these well
qualified personnel against what is now clearly the greatest threat.

If the forty billion dollars a year being wasted at all levels of
government in this never ending war on drugs had been – and could
easily now be – invested in making us all more secure from real
threats we may well not have been caught off guard.

It is past time for our leaders to get the priorities in


Richard Lake

contact info


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.

ADDITIONAL INFO to help you in your letter writing efforts

Letter Writers Resources: http://www.mapinc.org/resource/



TO UNSUBSCRIBE SEE http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm

Prepared by Richard Lake – Focus Alert Specialist