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April 2004
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Another great column

Wow! In today’s Chicago Sun Times, by Neil Steinberg: We’ve Lost War on Drugs, Must We Lose Our
Rights?

Next week in Washington, D.C., opening arguments begin in a federal lawsuit that you might not have heard about. A few months back, a new
law tucked discreetly into a government spending bill cut off federal
funds to any public transit system that accepts advertising that
advocates certain changes in the nation’s drug laws. If the Chicago
Transit Authority accepts an ad from a group trying to improve the
terminally ill’s access to medical marijuana, the CTA will lose its
federal funding.

Whatever you think of U.S. drug policy — words like “failed” and
“Draconian” automatically leap to my mind, but you might think first
of “expensive” and “futile” — you probably, one hopes, feel the
matter should at least be discussed, and that people have the right to
air their views and buy ads to disseminate them.

We’ve lost that right, another collateral victim of our lost drug
war. The warm glow associated with being “tough on drugs” has caused
politicians to fall over themselves passing inane and excessive laws,
such as this law, or the one cutting off college grants to anyone with
a drug conviction — which means you can murder someone and get a Pell
grant to go to college, but that ounce of pot will bar you for life.
Your tax dollars at work.

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