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'A Dictionary for Gil'Social Commentary by Allan Erickson Salem-News.com
Your office, Mr. Kerlikowske, does not offer protection from the truth. Maintaining the drug war's lies has cost far too many innocent lives, and ended or destroyed the lives of far too many of our police officers.
(EUGENE, Ore.) - I nearly sprayed coffee on my monitor when I watched our nation's new head of the White House Office of No Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske utter these words:
I wondered if perhaps someone had removed the word from my dictionary!
So, I opened up my Funk & Wagnalls... flipped... through the pages... to... "L." Sure enough, right there on page 772 - "legalize." And in noun form, "legalization." To make legal.
Seeing that my dictionary is F&W's 1968 edition I figured maybe -- like the effort made to eliminate the word hemp from our vocabulary -- somehow they had managed to delete this word as well. So I looked it up online. Yep. Lots of dictionaries online. And I'll wager a 5 spot every one of them has the word legalize (my bet is based on the fact that the 3 I checked all did).
Someone? Anyone? Please, let's pool our resources and get a dictionary for Gil. We have an administration elected on the promise of dealing with issues from a basis of fact and sound science, no matter how uncomfortable the subject. And now we find out the White House doesn't have a dictionary! Well? I'll put in a dollar...
Besides, it's kind of a catchy slogan:
"A Dictionary for Gil"
There is no ducking the question, Gil. There is, certainly, the word "legalize" in everyone else's dictionary. Let us act like grown-ups. OK? The War On Drugs has failed. Obviously. The drug war is a mirror of alcohol's early 20th century prohibition. But it is a failure of far, far nastier proportion.
When you dismissed the question asked by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's (LEAP) Tom Angell, you dismissed your peers, curtly, if not rudely. If say... oh... Jack Cole or Norm Stamper, Joseph McNamara, perhaps Judge Jim Gray or even former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, had asked that question, would your response have been the same?
I mean really, Mr. Kerlikowske, the argument is easily made that such raw obfuscations and lame deflections only serve to aid those drug policy advocates who claim the whole of the government's policies on drugs is one big lie. Laws written not from fact or science, but from manufactured racist fictions, deserve no place in a society so advanced and enlightened as ours. Laws that are absurd in foundation and destructive in their implementation are foul tools and serve no good purpose.
Your office, Mr. Kerlikowske, does not offer protection from the truth. The assault that the War On Drugs has unleashed upon the citizens of this nation is part of that truth. Maintaining the drug war's lies has cost far too many innocent lives, ended or destroyed the lives of far too many of our police officers.
There is a knocking at your door sir. And whomever it is? ... probably has a dictionary for you. Special Delivery. ==========================================================
After receiving training as a photographer and photographic systems repairman in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War period, Allan Erickson went on to work behind the camera as a photojournalist (California Advocate, Fresno, CA), a commercial products table-top photographer (Gottschalks advertising, second camera behind Richard Eissler), and he has photographed weddings, anniversary celebrations, political meet-and-greets, concerts, baseball games (currently working for the Eugene Emeralds, the San Diego Padres' short season single A affiliate, as their team photographer), school events, kids' soccer, portraits and my favorite venue, nature.
More than anything, Allan Erickson cares about the health of Oregon and he works closely on drug policy issues as a member of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Send Allan an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit Allan's blog as this link: morningdonut.blogspot.com
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