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June 2010
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Letter Of The Week

Each week, I read the all of the published letters to the editor on drug policy that are archived at the Media Awareness Project.  Then I select the five that clearly and concisely call for an end to drug prohibition, in my opinion.  I send these top five out to a relatively small email list, who then vote on it and the one with the most votes is awarded the “Letter Of The Week” in the Drugsense Drug Policy Reform Blog.  Normally I would do this on Tuesday morning and the voting ends Thursday night at midnight CST, however, this week I haven’t gotten around to selecting the Top 5 until about an hour ago.  I’ll open up the voting for the Letter Of The Week today to the Drug War Rant community and will tally up all the votes from here and the email list for the LOTW to be announced tomorrow on both blogs.  And for those who are not familiar with MAPinc I highly recommend it as a way to get involved in helping bring an end to drug prohibition, either by Newshawking or writing letters to editors. Below is the LOTW TOP 5 choices to vote on this week, feel free to vote in the comments section.  PUB LTEs represent letters that favor ending prohibition, LTEs are letters that support drug prohibition.

From June 1-7, 2010 there were 6 LTEs archived and 26 PUB LTEs archived at the
Media Awareness Project.  Here are the top five PUB LTEs in my opinion.

US CA: PUB LTE: Stop The Bleeding
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n428/a05.html?1151

US NC: PUB LTE: Lobby Legislators To Approve Hemp, Medical
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n427/a09.html?1151

US HI: PUB LTE: DARE Program
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n426/a02.html?1151

US MT: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana: Let's Look On The Bright
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n421/a02.html?1151

Canada: PUB LTE: War Without End
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n418/a09.html?1159

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18 comments to Letter Of The Week Top 5 Voting

  • Cannabis

    The D.A.R.E. letter.

  • Thanks Dan… I’ll add my $.02 if’n ya don’t mind?

    MAP ignited my drug war involvement and it specifically was the letters-to-the-editor that sparked my fire. Over the more-than-a-decade I’ve been involved with the MAP letter writing campaign I have seen the language of we letter writers become the catch phrases of our movement and our words are now echoed by journalists and newpaper editors across the country.

    Like sharpening knives on a whetstone, the wording of our letters have been distilled and reworked until their points are like surgical tools. We have made a difference, a big difference.

    And many of us are dog weary and bone tired. Please, join us. Letters-to-the-editor are worth about $1000 of ad space in a paper or magazine. The opinion pages are the most read part of a paper.

    Don’t wait to speak up. Go to MAP DrugNews ( http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ ) and search your region’s publications for an article you love or loathe and write a letter. Make ONE point and make it well and it’s knocking one more brick from the Prohibition Wall…

  • Tyler West

    War Without End!!!

  • I vote for the DARE letter by Sara Steiner. I picked this one because it is rare for an elected official to promote drug policy reform; I feel that it is important to highlight these efforts in the media.

  • claygooding

    The DARE letter. And thanks Allen for the pointer on using MAPS for any of our own efforts.

  • Duncan

    Misleading headline in USAToday: “Marijuana smoking impairs drivers regardless of sex”

    Yes, it’s the recently released study that shows that cannabis consumers are as ‘impaired’ as non-users.

    http://tinyurl.com/2erz74s

  • @ Clay, MAP (Media Awareness Project – http://www.mapinc.org/ ) and MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies – http://www.maps.org/ ) are two different entities. And thanks for the “impaired driving” link. It says nothing – but hey, it’s USA Today! And I’m pretty sure the “impairment” they found is the drivers slowed down and became more cautious… but we all knew that. Talk about twisting one up, USA Today sure did that!

    Like any organization these days, MAP can use both money and volunteers. Of all the drug policy orgs, MAP would get my money if I had any and they have gotten the lion’s share of my volunteer time over the years. We (MAP) now has almost 220,000 articles, editorial, opeds and letters-to-the-editor in the archives. And it blew our minds when we hit 50,000! The ONDCP tried a similar thing and in 2 years had maybe 800 articles and they were slanted their way. MAP archives it all.

    And MAP’s DrugNews archive is used, a lot… according to Alexa’s web traffic ranking info MAP ranks 17,864 among US websites (the ONDCP ranks 67,831), has over 1,100 sites linking in and… interestingly enough, Peter Williams still ranks as the #6 most searched word/phrase (according to Alexa).

    MAP has had the same core group of volunteers since I’ve been there. And there is a reason many of us have remained for so many years (some even until the end of their lives – RIP Derek and Beth!)… MAP is the best we have and is a remarkable accomplishment in the world of political activism.

    So please, write those letters, read those articles (and every article carries the link – either email or website – to send a letter-to-the-editor) and if you have money, donate some to MAP.

    When the drug war has you in a policy haze and you’re lost and confused… use your MAP!

  • jeff in chicago

    It’s close, but I’m voting for the ‘war without end’ letter. But I also like the DARE letter. There you have it!

  • Voletear

    Here’s my 2 cents:

    MAP is a wonderful resource. Please take a stab at writing a LTE; you’ll enjoy seeing your name in print and knowing your effort hurt the WOD in a concrete way.

    As you look for something about which to write you will doubtless read through the MAPNews. These are timely and topical articles that have been “newshawked” to hard-working editors across the continent. You will probably also notice the disproportionate number of stories from Canadian papers. The US papers are usually far in the minority. This is simply because Canadians are newshawking the stories that interest them, that outrage them, much more than Americans are. So why not familiarize yourself with the simple process and newshawk a couple for the old US of A?

  • Windy

    Stop the Bleeding gets my vote!

  • ezrydn

    The DARE Ltr has my vote!

  • Matthew Meyer

    The DARE letter.

  • Dan Linn

    DARE Letter won, here it is in its full text.

    URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n426/a02.html
    Newshawk: Herb
    Votes: 4
    Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jun 2010
    Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)
    Copyright: 2010 Hawaii Tribune Herald
    Contact: http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/share/letters/
    Website: http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/
    Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/185
    Author: Sara Steiner

    D.A.R.E. PROGRAM

    I am writing in response to your article about the “Council unveils cuts to budget” on the June 2 front page. I feel like you are misrepresenting the facts about Emily Naeole-Beason’s budget cut request. The D.A.R.E. program is not an educational program. It is a propaganda program aimed at young schoolchildren. The police are spreading misinformation and what happens is once the children learn that the police lie about drugs, they cannot trust them about other issues.

    The D.A.R.E. program has been cited as being ineffective by the U.S. Department of Education, in addition to the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. General Accountability Office. The DOE has banned federal funding of the D.A.R.E. program in school. I feel you need to print a correction immediately stating the truth about the D.A.R.E. program. And I, for one, am personally thankful to Emily for standing up to end this wasteful use of county funds. The police should be here to protect and serve us, not lobby for the perpetuation of the “Drug War.”

    Sara Steiner

    Pahoa

  • denmark

    War Without End OR Lobby Legislators To Approve Hemp, Medical
    Second choice may be because I have friends in Ashville. When we visited our friends in NC over a year ago we were told that Asheville was the pot capital of NC, or something to that effect.

    Tough decision, wouldn’t want to be the one to decide as anyone who is writing letters and speaking up is a Star in my eyes.

  • Hope

    The Media Awareness Project and it’s work and volunteers are the hardest hit ever against our present day Prohibiton.

  • sara steiner

    Hey Thanks Everyone for your support!

    I am proud to be on your list of great letters! We have a major problem here on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Lowest Law Enforcement Priority of Cannabis law passed in 2008 with 35,000 voters saying yes. Since then the police, prosecutors, judges, county council, mayor and corporation council are in denial. They are still busting people for possession, medical patients are having their medicine seized, busted for transporting, etc… They are even trying to seize a mothers business and bank account, because her son knows some kids who got busted, but none of them have any assets. You can’t get a jury trial here for marijuana crimes, they have a 99% conviction rate by forcing deals, and our lawyers are not helping.

    All the while, we have unsolved murders, burglaries,rapes and punks (who are snitches) beating up businessmen in the street without getting arrested. We have started a group “Friends for Justice” and we are meeting and growing weekly.If anyone has information on the FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) program or Officer John Weber (“retired” in 2009) drop us a line at friendsforjustice@gmail.com

    Aloha from Pahoa! Sara Steiner

  • The DARE letter gets my vote.
    Justice. Not propaganda.

  • Rev. Nancy

    I vote for the DARE letter; it’s direct, clear and in a few short words makes a point in a manner that can be understood by those not aware of the issue. At the same time, it brings out some less than well-known points, and is reasonable enough to interest everyone.