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'It's a Monster': Federal Drug Bill

September 26, 1988

I could not help but be struck by the confused priorities exhibited by two actions of the House of Representatives. The House passed a bill fining even the most petty marijuana user $10,000. The next day the House bent to the powerful National Rifle Assn. lobby and killed a bill that would have allowed a seven-day cooling down period before the purchase of a handgun.

As the parent of two small children, I worry as much as anyone about making the world safer for our next generation. But I find the prospect of easily available handguns far more frightening than petty drug users. A drug problem is something we can work on improving; a bullet hole is not.

In this election year it has become fashionable to be perceived as aggressive about the drug problem, but let us keep the full range of social problems in perspective. Some of this new zeal could profitably be used elsewhere.

RICHARD K. BELEW

Cardiff

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