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Introducing John Chase

I am a retired engineer who has never tried illegal drugs and by good fortune have children and grandchildren whose lives have not been affected by them yet. I was silent for many years about my discomfort at the lack of progress in reducing drug consumption.

Last December I finally decided to write letters to my local newspapers to urge their editors to begin a constructive debate to find a better way. I was so new to e-mail that I accidentally sent my first letter to the St.Petersburg Times of St. Petersburg, Russia where it sat for a time. Meanwhile, I signed up for the weekly e-mail newsletter from DRCNet. My letter finally arrived at the St. Petersburg Times of Florida in late February and was published. It was a conciliatory letter. That afternoon a woman from the November Coalition phoned to ask if she could put the letter on their website. I knew of this website and had told my wife they were "the families of drug felons." I told the woman to do anything she wished with my letter. As I hung up, I thought, "This is getting serious; I sure hope I'm doing the right thing."

It took me about four more months of reading and surfing the net to understand the evolution of the drug war to its current ferocity through misinformation, fear, racism, naivite', opportunism and conflicts of interest. We are well on our way toward transforming the democracy of Jefferson and Lincoln into a totalitarian state. That is too high price a price to pay for abstinence.

I believe drug reform has replaced Social Security reform as the third rail of American politics, and debate will not begin until our elected leaders believe it is safe. Thus it is important to talk not so much to ourselves as to those outside the movement.

John is currently heading the development of a petition style letter that we will incorporate into upcoming projects.

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