The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 14, 1972, Page PAGE 4, Image 4

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Ending
pot prohibition
Washington has just begun to smolder and smoke
over the latest recommendations of the National
Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. That
committee has unanimously recommended that all
criminal penalties be eliminated for the private use
and possession of grass.
The latest national survey among college-age
persons indicates that over 50 per cent of all college
students have used regularly or irregulary the drug
known as "cannibis sativa" in one form or another.
The commission report will .be presented to
President Nixon and Congress on March 22. The
report specifically calls for the "decriminalization" of
the drug. The term "decriminalization" is used to
describe the deletion of all criminal statutes
penalizing users and possessers of pot. This
conclusion was drawn after the commission had
listened to testimony at ten hearings and studied
fifty commissioned reports.
The depth of the study is to be commended, as the
entire investigation took one year to complete, and
all avenues of controversy were explored ,
One of the studies commissioned by the
committee concluded that about 24 million
Americans have used marijuana. In the committee's
view, an extreme similarity exists now between the
illegal use of pot today and the unlawful activities of
Americans just before the end of prohibition of
alcohol, when literally all of the United States
citizenry was drinking illegally.
The report has some drawbacks, however, since it
still calls for penalties for the simple sale of the drug,
even among friends. It also does not favor legal
harvesting of the cannibis plant, nor does it advocate
the legalization of transporting it, or public
indulgence in the use of the drug.
The substance of the recommendation legalizing
the use of the drug calls for lawful use only within
the privacy of the home. This has serious drawbacks,
since marijuana is most frequently used socially
rather than in individual privacy. Marijuana should be
considered by authorities and the public as an
alternative to alcohol or any other social agent seen
within any social group. Since no correlation between
use of pot and progression to harder drugs was found,
this presents no problem of socially irredeemable
value. .
Rumors persist that the members of the
commission that currently are in minority will be
presenting a dissenting opinion favoring legalization
and decriminalization of the drug, but this remains
yet to be seen.
The report comes to Washington at a time when
the President of the United States only a short time
ago stated that he was completely opposed to any
sort of legalization of marijuana. Political
ramifications of any decision made by the executive
branch different than the President's last statement of
marijuana use will be apparent.
Since then the 18-year-old vote has become a
significant factor in any political decision rhade. Since
most users are in this age category, maybe, just
maybe the Nixon administration will respond to this
age group's requests.
Although a complete legalization of marijuana,
with restrictions placed upon its use and distribution
comparable to those laws now governing alcohol, is
the b;st final solution, it is most desirous that the
recommendations of the National Commission on
Marijuana and Drug Abuse be accepted nationwide as
soon as legislatively possible.
Barry Pilger
Dear editor:
. Ed Schwartzkopf s guest opinion
(Daily Nebraskan, Feb. 9) rings of the
kind of outlandish liberalism that
attempts to conceal the fundamental
issues involved in this nation's electoral
process.
He philanders us into believing that
voting or participating in an election is
manifest of our political power. Political
power does not grow out of an election
boot, but out of capital and the ability to
manipulate that influence towards those
ends which are profitable to the capitalist
class.
Schwartzkopf also asked us to support
a candidate "who has true compassion of
and sensitivity for the problems of our
society". Perhaps a few of these men
exist, but once they are elected the office
molds the man, and his first responsibility
is to the bankers, corporate executives
and military parasites who hold the real
power.
Schwartzkopf is no crass amateur
when it comes to politics. He wants you
to vote. He really doesn't care if you vote
for Republican X, Democrat Y, or
Independent Z.
It all boils down to a vote for capitalist
A, B or C. No matter who wins, he and
the other members of his ruling clique
can't lose.
Bruce Todd Maine
Dear editor:
The party caucuses recently held in
Iowa and Arizona were the first real tests
of the Democratic Presidential
candidates. George McGovern received 23
per cent of the vote in Iowa, compared
with 36 per cent for Muskie and 35 per
cent uncommitted. In Arizona, McGovern
received 20 per cent compared to
Muskie' s 3H per cent, Lindsay's 24 per
cent and 17 percent uncommitted.
George McGovern is much stronger
than most people thought. Support for
George McGovern is increasing as people
understand and realize that they are in
agreement.
Steve Tiwald
Dear editor:
Students should not bo confused by
Roy Baldwin's letter to the editor (Daily
Nebraskan, Feb. 11) and his assessment
of the President's eight-point peace
proposal.
Baldwin refutes the point which calls
for a pull-back of the North Vietnamese
military forces to their homeland. He
then asks the reader to "imagine how
Roosevelt would have felt if the Germans
in 1945 insisted that we withdraw from
Europe before they would negotiate with
us". This unrealistic comparison leads
him to an equally distorted conclusion.
Baldwin ignores the fact that the first
point of the plan provides for the total'
withdrawal of all U.S. and Allied forces,
and the fact that agreement to the
proposal is not a pre-condition to
negotiations.
It is clear that the communists want to
deal on their own terms or none at all.
Their goal is domination of Southeast
Asia and they arc willing to wail years to
achieve that goal.
Duane Cochran
PAGE 4
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1972