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Say 'Reform,' Not 'Legalize'; Farcical Drug War Must End; Gay-Rights Foes Demonized; Funding Shows Earley's Bias


Say 'Reform,' Not 'Legalize'

Thank you for John Toivonen's fine article explaining how Gary Reams' Libertarian campaign for lieutenant governor will help to reform Virginia's marijuana laws ["Joint Referendum," June 26]. I do need to correct one error.

The headline suggests that the purpose of the campaign is "to legalize pot." That's certainly one way to improve the current law, but it's not the goal of the Reams Reeferendum. We want the votes of every citizen who agrees that the law has gone too far and should be reformed. Once consensus is reached on that point, we can decide on specifics.

Some people want distribution only through pharmacies, by prescription, for medicinal purposes only; some suggest a government monopoly, as we have with liquor; some want strict regulation, as we have with beer; some want a totally free market. Some people would like to buy birdseed with hemp in it, which would be illegal under current law. Any of these scenarios would be better than the tragic farce we have now.

Roy B. Scherer
The writer is a volunteer with Reams' campaign.

Farcical Drug War Must End

Thank you for your article about Gary Reams and his campaign for lieutenant governor. I've been wondering when we would start getting candidates who weren't afraid to touch this issue. I'm glad it's now — the drug war is just causing too much damage for no return.

I have a 3-year-old who by definition will be a teen-ager in 10 years. I'm anxious to know who will be selling these substances then — legal, responsible retailers or organized crime. To me, it's that simple. Legal retailers don't gun each other down over sales territory. They don't recruit new employees from among school kids. They do card, and abide by other marketing restrictions society may seem fit to impose.

If you see [political analyst] Larry Sabato hanging around your office anytime soon, you can tell him that I for one am registered to vote and plan to be at the polls this November.

Paul Miller

Gay-Rights Foes Demonized

I am so tired of the gay rights movement being glorified in the mass media ["Making Waves," television] while opponents of the gay-rights movement are invariably demonized as homophobic, racist, uneducated, unethical, hateful, intolerant neo-Nazis.

There are many reasons to oppose the movement, but the mass media makes no such subtle distinctions. There are hateful people who support the gay-rights movement and hateful people who oppose it.

I wish the Boy Scouts luck. They will need it, with gay-rights supporters, their powerful connections and virtually all the mass media lined up against them.

Brenda J. Levy

Funding Shows Earley's Bias

I alternated between dismay and excitement when reading about Mark Earley's allocating of the Nine West settlement funds ["Shoe Money," June 19]. I was very pleased to see that Virginians Aligned Against Sexual Assault (VAASA), the Virginia Primary Care Association and the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation are benefiting from these funds.

However, the misappropriation of $10,000 each to 18 crisis-pregnancy centers in Virginia showed Earley's ultraconservative bias against mainstream inclusive women's organizations. VAASA shared the $180,970 they received by giving $3,000 to each local sexual assault crisis center in Virginia in order to share the benefits with local women's organizations that are there for all women.

Earley, instead, opted to benefit agencies that do not even offer birth control. To think this man could become governor and force his right-wing religious agenda on all government programs that currently help women is frightening. If this is his idea of being inclusive, I may have to move.

Stacy Ruble

Crisis? What Crisis?

Ruth Anne Young vehemently claims she has "never heard of any crisis pregnancy center claiming to be a health-care clinic" [letters, July 3].

Then why is a large advertisement for the Richmond Crisis Pregnancy Center directly under the "CLINICS" listing in the Richmond Yellow Pages? This is obvious evidence that women in need of unbiased information and facts will not get the whole truth at a "crisis pregnancy center."

E.C. Sykes

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