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Mail Call

Not too long ago our city re-wrote the drug laws to benefit the elite. Unfortunately, our community is one that advocates and encourages drug use for college students and the elite, but promotes moving poor people into U.S. labor camps for the same offenses. The permanent residents and children around the college at times don't feel free to go outside because of the massive amount of drug use locally.

It was that way when I lived around the campus around four decades ago with no police intervention. Recently, when the complaints became so numerous about the drug use, the mayor called off the police and created a public policy that if police were called more than three times on these college residents, they would have to move.

The punishment is clear! Move the party next door! Or, cynically, why don't the law-abiding citizens move? If the main idea was to advocate, promote and normalize drug use among politicians, doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers and other elite members of our society without consequences, the idea became real.

But the 'idea' also included pursuing and prosecuting poor Americans, burdening them with walking dossiers for the same exact offenses, and making it clear that our country's drug control policies have failed and been turned into a program of sociology. So why should Americans support drug laws, and what exactly are they arresting these poor people for?

Is arresting and using an approach of hard-line sentencing against poor people for drug use justifiable when it's implemented by some of the very elite people - prosecutors and legislators - who are advocating drug use and protecting people from being arrested for the same activity on the basis of class privilege? Richard Hellstrom, Lexington, Kentucky

Perhaps you know more about this than me. After reading the umpteenth story about poor Martha Stewart and how her electronic monitor and other modest conditions of parole were cramping her style -- and having seen NOTHING since her release reflecting her commitments to the other women at Alderson federal prison camp -- I tried to send her a message or post on her personal message board ( But that site seems down, so I went to the corporate site and posted (08/26/05) the following on the "welcome home" thread after much difficulty (this is one of the most difficult to use and read forums I have seen, probably deliberately that way):
Are you still an activist, Martha?

Let me first say I am sympathetic to your plight. However, what made me that way were your statements made from Alderson in which you recognized that many other women less well-off and powerful than you, were being unfairly incarcerated, mostly because of our trumped-up drug laws.

I read on reform sites how you met and spoke with women associated with the November Coalition who befriended you in your hour of need, and how you hoped to advocate for them and other women in similar dire straits once you got out.

What happened? Is the media simply not reporting your efforts, or have you simply forgotten what you learned behind the razor wire and gone back to your life of privilege and power? Is the media simply trying to make you look bad with your overblown complaints about the electronic monitor chafing your legs or your inability to comply with the modest restrictions of your house arrest? Have your business advisers told you to lay off the "social activism" stuff?

Needless to say, if you have forgotten your commitment to reform and gone back to decorating and cooking recommendations, we are all the losers here.

Jack R. Lebowitz (Editor: If you're patient with her website's process, you, too, can congratulate Martha, repeat Lebowitz's questions, or ask some questions of your own at

I hope all is well. It has been a bit hectic around here too. I have finally finished writing all the members of both Houses of Congress (more than 535 letters) to be sure that they are aware of HR 3072. Now, my colleagues and I are generating letters to get our family members and friends involved in our plight.

We are sending out hundreds of letters a week to be signed and forwarded to the appropriate members of the House and the Senate. We also encourage everyone to make multiple copies and share those letters with others in their area. The multiplying factor should easily be times three. Love, Glenn

I am in custody for drugs, a hearsay conspiracy conviction that is so bogus. I've been an addict for 20 years, and that's all I've been - a buyer/user. I'm facing a minimum of 20 years to life for talking on the phone to this guy who brought in 20 others.

As for me, I do have a problem and it's drugs. I'm 44 now, and I'm through with it. Now that I'm facing a long time in prison, I just pray to God that I will one day reunite with my two children who are going through hard times now. It's been two years since I've seen them and every time I talk to them on the phone they always ask me, "Daddy, when are you coming home?"

I feel so crappy and I tell them, "One day, honey." I don't know really how to tell them and maybe you folks can help me out. I don't have any money to give, but I really like the stuff your newspaper has. I have a few stamps for a copy or two. I really thank you for your time and attention. Much mahalo and God bless Razor Wire. Robert Lum

Dear November Coalition,

My name is Lynda, and I am 9 years old. I have a brother named Jorge. He is 10 years old. My daddy left when I was 8 months, and ever since I have been really sad because I do not get to see him often. I really want him to come because I miss him a lot and sometimes when I think about him I start to cry. I think that when he comes home I might have a puppy. I also think that we will move to Colombia and raise money to buy a farm there. I want us to have a good life. So can you bring my daddy home?


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