Tactless supporters of the war fail to show respect for human
life

To the Daily:

After watching our football team defeat the Hawkeyes on
Saturday, I was surprised — make that disgusted — by
the sight of people holding signs stating “War On,”
which were meant to look like the “No War” signs that
frequent our Ann Arbor community. I encourage the free expression
of all political viewpoints, but I urge those people who flaunted
their signs to go visit their nearest military recruiter if they
want to stand behind their witty catchphrase. Our courageous men
and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and other posts around the world
having their tours extended are putting their retirement on hold so
that the “war” can go “on.”

There are many in our University community who have my respect
and admiration — those who, unlike myself, have enough
courage to step up and put their lives on the line for our country.
I support our troops and the sacrifices that they make everyday,
and I also support our glorious country, but I will not ignore the
sanctity of the lives of those that we send to fight our wars.

I may be overreacting to a few signs held by a dozen or so
people, but I value life, namely the 1,048 American military in
Iraq, the 157 foreign contractors in Iraq (
“http://www.icasualities.org/oif”>www.icasualities.org/oif),
and the 12,927 or more Iraqi civilians (
“http://www.iraqbodycount.net”>www.iraqbodycount.net) who have
died during the war. Wear your Bush-Cheney stickers with pride if
you believe in President Bush, but please stop and think for a
second before displaying signs that playfully undermine the serious
nature of war. God bless our troops and our country.

Steve Warnick

Medical student

 

Anti-Semitic verbal assaults have no place in Ann Arbor or on
campus

To the Daily:

Last Wednesday night I attended a vigil honoring the two
soldiers murdered and the numerous citizens injured in
yesterday’s suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem. Growing up
in a family that is dedicated to the state of Israel, and after
spending my junior year abroad down the street from where the
bombing took place, this hit really close to home — as every
bombing does. It was a short and poignant ceremony that reminded me
of how it feels to have a strong bond with others, even though you
may not know them personally.

On my walk home with two of my housemates, we stopped outside
Espresso Royale on South University Avenue to talk to some of our
friends. Wearing our blue and white “We stand with
Israel” shirts bearing a large Israeli flag, there was no
doubt as to our sentiments. A moment later, a tall, older-looking
man walked by very quickly and after passing us turned and
screamed, “Sharon should tear down that fence, that dirty Jew
bastard!”

I was in utter shock. I simply had no words. After coming from
such a meaningful ceremony honoring people who had died protecting
the citizens of their country, I was stunned by this first direct,
vitriolic anti-Semitism that other than on a visit to Poland, I
have never experienced before. Before I am a Jew, before I am an
American, before I am a female, I am a person. And no person,
regardless of race or ethnicity, should be subject to such
irrational behavior, such senseless abuse, particularly on the
grounds of an institution that prides itself on its democratic
values.

Ariella Goldfein

LSA senior

 

Prof’s statements on medical marijuana are not founded
in reality

To the Daily:

Prof. Lloyd Johnston’s statements about medical marijuana
laws are simply false (Medicinal pot use on A2 ballot,
09/23/04
). Johnston asserts, “There has never been a real
implementation of laws (to legalize medical marijuana) because the
federal law always trumps the state laws, and state laws in turn
trump local laws.” In fact, not only are nine state medical
marijuana laws in force and being implemented every day —
protecting tens and probably hundreds of thousands of patients from
arrest by state and local police — but federal courts have
put severe limits on federal government attempts to undermine such
laws.

For example, the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana,
a patient-run co-op in Santa Cruz, Calif., was raided by the
federal Drug Enforcement Administration in September 2002. It now
operates under the protection of a federal court injunction barring
further DEA raids. The state of Oregon alone has over 10,000
registered patients in its medical marijuana program.

Johnston further claims, “Federal authorities made it
clear that physicians prescribing marijuana risked losing their
licenses to prescribe all controlled substances, including all of
the traditional psychotherapeutic drugs.” In fact, physicians
in states with medical marijuana laws do not
“prescribe” marijuana, they recommend it — a
right that has been specifically upheld by the federal courts in a
case known as Conant v. Walters. As a result of this litigation,
federal authorities are absolutely barred from threatening the
prescribing rights of doctors who recommend medical marijuana.

Johnston, who presides over a huge, annual, federally funded
study of drug use, should not put his academic credibility at risk
by repeating blatant misinformation — misinformation that
coincidentally happens to track perfectly with federal opposition
to medical marijuana.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications,

Marijuana Policy Project

 

Reader questions limitations imposed by the Patriot
Act

To the Daily:

In her article (My litmus test reads more acidic than
alkaline
, 09/22/04), Sravya Chirumamilla states, “I have
been incensed by the Patriot Act, which clearly limits my
rights.” I would like to ask Chirumamilla how exactly the
Patriot Act has limited her rights since it was first introduced.
Please clarify how your life has been affected. Thanks.

Mark Yanachik

Alum

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