Dear Mr. Gaydou;
I am writing to urge you not to take any action against Press columnist David Mayo following his arrest for growing pot at his home. He is a good writer who has served the Press well for 20 years and does not deserve to see his career collapse due to a crime that is becoming increasingly difficult to understand.
America’s War of Drugs is an abysmal failure that has ruined lives, enriched gangsters and corrupted governments around the world. The harm caused by the “war” has far exceeded the harm caused by the use of drugs, and it is only a matter of time before the nation wakes up to this and changes its approach.
If Mayo had been caught driving drunk, it would have been disappointing, but not a job-ending event. Growing pot at his home put no one at risk and posed no danger to anyone. It should be viewed for what it is: a minor infraction, not the revelation of some moral depravity that warrants banishment and unemployment.
This country needs an honest and open dialog about the drug policies that have failed so miserably. Unfortunately there can be no such dialog because of the prevailing attitude where misguided morality trumps common sense. I can’t even submit this letter to the Press for fear that it will be held against me personally and that I will somehow be seen as “pro-drugs”.
I hope incidents like swimmer Michael Phelps’ bong episode will help move the dialog forward. When put into the context of Alex Rodiguez’s steroid use, it should be obvious which person is truly damaging sports.
I suspect a majority of your readers consider pot to be a harmless indulgence, but that this majority is so afraid of the other side that they would never publicly admit it. I don’t think it will help Kellogg in the long run to throw out Phelps, and I don’t think it will be any better for you if the Press trashes Dave Mayo.