At Mattole School in Petrolia this election season, the 5th through 8th graders spent a couple of weeks discussing the various propositions. According to my grandson, there was strong opposition to Proposition 19, and at the school ballot box it got only three votes ("Prop. 19, R.I.P." Nov. 11).
Assuming these children reflect their parents it is hard not to feel cynical and sad. The War on Drugs is as destructive as our other wars, a murderously violent security policy intended to create the right environment for resource extraction and corporate exploitation. Domestically it is the modern version of Jim Crow.
These happily oblivious families might as well be voting for war because they work in the armaments business. They've evidently forgotten neighbors whose lives were mutilated by brutal arrests and desperate legal proceedings. They need go no farther than Eureka to encounter people who've emerged from long prison sentences in debt, blackballed from employment and living in fear of being thrown back in prison again for a trifle.
All arguments against Prop. 19 are casuistry, and its defeat has no silver lining.
Ellen Taylor, Petrolia
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