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San Francisco Chronicle, January 9, 1997.


Editor -- It's interesting that Prop 215 proponents are now revealing their hand.

''We only want marijuana for the sick and dying,'' they say, but Prop 215 makes pot available to anyone with a doctor's ''verbal recommendation.''

''This is not about legalization,'' they say, but the initiative allows people to cultivate marijuana. To avoid arrest, they need only claim they're growing it for someone who's sick.

''The 'drug war' failed,'' they say, as past-month drug use fell among teenagers and young adults by two-thirds between 1979 and 1992.

Now that they got what they wanted, proponents give the same advice they gave in the '70s when they advocated ''decriminalization,'' and drug use reached the highest levels in history (from 2 percent of the population in 1962 to 35 percent of teenagers and 70 percent of young adults in 1979).

''Marijuana is not as harmful as alcohol,'' they assert, as young people's belief that marijuana can hurt them falls and their use of the drug heads up to the levels of the '70s.

Some in California may not understand why the Clinton administration is rejecting Prop 215, but those of us who do are profoundly grateful.


Executive Director

National Families in Action

Atlanta, Ga.

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