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October 8: Voice of The (Anchorage) Times on Hemp Initiative:

Posted: Monday, October 16, 2000

Passage of the ballot measure that would legalize marijuana, which will be on the November ballot, would turn Alaska into Dope, U.S.A.

We can't believe this is something most Alaskans want.

Yet that could be the result if voters go to sleep on this stupid piece of business and actually allow it to be enacted into law.

The measure is billed -- with a lot of pious posturing by dopeheads of all ages -- as merely a simple little law that would legalize hemp. And they stress that hemp really is an industrial product, and its legalization will save trees which will not have to be harvested to provide lumber to build houses, to make paper to print newspapers, or boxes to ship Christmas presents to friends and relatives Outside.

They're blowing smoke.

The real intent is to legalize the sale and use of marijuana -- even by 18-year-old school boys and school girls -- and to make it available across the counter at every dope shop in town, at every convenience store across the street from schools, at every hangout where kids gather and where adults can prey on them.

This is about money. Lots of money. Tons of money that can be reaped by the growing and sale of marijuana.

If this passes, kids still won't be able to buy cigarettes -- but they'll have marijuana at their fingertips, put there by aging dopers, some of whom may already have police records and rap sheets for illegal sale and possession of the drug.

And that's another little bit of dirty business contained in this measure that has made its way onto the November ballot.

If passed, the police records of all those previously convicted of marijuana crimes in Alaska would be purged and their convictions set aside. Those now serving time would be freed from jail.

And if that weren't enough, Ballot Measure 5 would require formation of a panel to study the notion of restitution for those who served time in the clink for violating dope laws they knew were on the books at the time.

The measure is an incredible piece of legislative flim-flam, masquerading as a do-good, feel-good effort to let people do their own thing. Unfortunately, were it to pass, Alaska would become heaven on earth for dopers who would flock here from all over.

And it would lower the bar on society's unending efforts to control the use of illegal drugs by school children and young adults still unable to differentiate between what is good and bad.

If ever there was a ballot measure worthy of a ''no'' vote on an Alaska ballot, this one is it.

It's Ballot Measure 5. And for the sake of Alaska's social and civic future, it needs to be soundly defeated.

Vote ''no'' on Ballot Measure 5.



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