Remember, this week is the official DRCNet "Email Chicago for Hemp Decriminalization Week". This week, DRCNet email members and other email activists will inundate WGN-TV ([email protected]) with email showing support for Chicago's proposed decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana. WGN-TV, Channel 9 in Chicago, is a major networked station watched not only in Chicago but in other cities around the country as well.
The ordinance that Chicago is considering would decriminalize possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana. Right now there is a $500 fine with 30 days in jail for possession of that amount. The proposal is to institute a $250 fine with NO ARREST, no jail-time, and NO RECORD. They are saying currently, these non-violent offenders are clogging the courts.
Please email WGN-TV today -- the following letter was sent to them by DRCNet member Don Topping, of the Hawaii Drug Policy Options Group. You might want to add a P.S. to your letter, asking WGN-TV to give some coverage to the Windy City Weedfest, taking place on Saturday May 14th (this weekend) on Cricket Hill. Again, their address is "[email protected]".
Congratulations on being in the avant garde in the use of electronic mail to receive public input.
The War on Drugs has continued for too long, and has already wreaked havoc with our judiciary system, prisons, individual human rights, and our overall social well being. What it comes down to is government subsidized crime.
The first step that needs to be taken to extricate ourselves from this costly and senseless war on ourselves is to decriminalize marijuana, as has already been done in Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, and parts of the United Kingdom. Chicago now has an opportunity to lead the nation's cities in this sensible move.
I urge you to use the influence of your medium to encourage an informed and sensible discussion of this issue. Perhaps with Chicago's leadership, cities like Honolulu will follow.
Donald M. Topping
Director, Social Science Research Institute
University of Hawaii
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