To the Editor:
In “Who Is Addicted to What?,” Midge Decter’s critique of an article by Barbara Ehrenreich [Contentions, April], I found the dismissal of Ehrenreich’s main point, that society is hypocritical in its enforcement of drug laws, rather flippant. Does an argument need to be new to be valid?
Miss Decter goes on to make the point that we as a society need to be concerned about the messages we are sending our young. It might be useful, then, to look at the messages we, through our judicial system, are actually sending. At a recent Grateful Dead concert, a twenty-year-old boy was arrested for purchasing LSD from an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency officer. Through a loose interpretation of current sentencing guidelines, the LSD, along with the sugar cube it was dissolved in, was weighed—as if the sample were pure LSD. Accordingly, it was determined that the quantity of LSD, though only one dose, put the boy in the same class as a drug dealer and was sufficient to merit a 22-year jail sentence without parole.
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