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April 14, 1998

Editorial

Feed the Harbinger or Feed a Cow

You paid your taxes and there is still a check left in your checkbook. You're not broke after all. So, what are you going to do with that check?

Guy Hunt's newly formed election campaign committee wants donations. The Harbinger also wants your dough. Let's compare merits.

The last time folks gave money to Guy Hunt, he made sure that the contributions stayed right at home in Alabama. The only trouble was that it was his home. Guy bought a riding mower and a cow. What did you get?

On the other hand, every dime contributed to the Harbinger since we began it fifteen years ago has gone to produce Mobile's only alternative paper. Everyone on the staff is a volunteer. No cows. No riding mowers.

The Harbinger has a lot planned for the coming months. In addition to bringing you our regular features such as Community Calendar, Pipeline and Global Warping, we will continue to sponsor special educational programs. Beginning on April 23, the Harbinger will present a 4-part symposium, "Healing and the Spoken/Written Word,'' exploring holistic avenues to health.

We're not sure what Guy Hunt has planned. His riding mower needs an expensive part, and his cow is looking kind of poky. Life is full of choices. Feed the Harbinger or feed a cow.

-- Dan Silver

The Harbinger
P.O. Box U-980
Mobile, AL 36688-0001


Life Forms by Dan Silver

Read more comics in the Life Forms Archive!


Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

The U.S. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a medical trade publication, recently reported that teen cannabis users could become dependent on the naturally occurring herb. However, upon closer examination, some overlooked points need to be addressed.

Reuters said that according to University of Colorado researchers, "More than two-thirds of teens referred for treatment by social service or criminal justice agencies complained of withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using marijuana." Does this mean that the subjects in the study had been under the care of social services or under court supervision, and perhaps told researchers what they wanted to hear? One must ask if there was a control group of successful teen marijuana users (yes, they do exist) that the study results were compared to. The report also fails to address the fact that these "troubled teens" likely got into trouble as a direct result of the War on Drugs, the new McCarthyism (McCaffreyism?) which ruins lives, families and the fabric of society far more than the substances it was designed to eradicate.

For Dr. Alan Leshner, head of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, to point to this vague survey to support his platform that marijuana use is somehow dangerous is not only intellectually dishonest, but borders on scientific fraud. But really, can we expect any less from someone whose bread and butter comes from spreading "reefer madness" scare tactics? It was not long ago when NIDA was pointing to studies performed on rats that supposedly showed that cannabis had certain effects on the brain that were similar to harder drugs, but when scrutinized, it turns out that the substance used in the experiment wasn't even present in marijuana!

Aside from the fact that most reputable medical journals around the world -- for example, the British medical journal The Lancet, which went as far as saying (in Volume 346, Number 8985, November 11, 1995) that "The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health," or perhaps the Drug Enforcement Administration's own administrative law judge Francis L. Young, who said in Docket No. 86-22 (September 6, 1988) that "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man" -- disagree with Leshner, U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy Barry McCaffery and other drug warriors when they state that cannabis is a "dangerous drug," the report itself damages any supposed credibility by stating that when asked, most teens said "their problems started before they started using marijuana."

The only addictive property of marijuana is the effect it has on legislators (in America, and around the world) and those who make money off of the human misery that the War on Drugs creates.

Timothy J. Meehan
Toronto, ON Canada
(416) 421-4421


Dear Editor,

I read with great interest the article by Woody Justice called Paradise Lost (December 6, 1997).

Our group has been focusing public attention on the shifting federal land-management direction toward "Industrial Strength Recreation" and what we are calling a concerted effort to "commercialize, privatize and motorize" America's public lands.

Perhaps Woody is familiar with our efforts to expose the ARC connections to these changing policies. Perhaps Woody even used our web site for resource material.

If you are not familiar with us and our web site, please have a look. We have written many articles on this subject which are available in a section called "Articles for Re-Posting and Publication." Perhaps Harbinger would be interested in reproducing one of these on its web site.

In any case, if this is a subject of interest, please visit our web site and/or get in touch with me.

Sincerely,
Scott Silver
Executive Director
Wild Wilderness
Bend, Oregon
(541) 385-5261
http://www.wildwilderness.org


The Harbinger, Mobile, AL