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Rights are in trouble

June 28, 2007

Re "Schools can ban pro-drug banners," June 26

Whether it be random, baseless student drug testing or having police dogs sniffing around school lockers for drugs, students are feeling the heavy-handedness of the government's overzealous efforts to keep them "drug-free." Get busted smoking a joint and lose federal funding for education. Talk about bong hits and face suspension. Where will it end?

In the government's attempt to win the drug war, it has little regard for our precious given rights as outlined in the Constitution. Drug users and people wrestling with addiction everywhere are routinely demonized. Chip by chip or, in this case, bong hit by bong hit, our fundamental rights are going up in smoke.

If the government can silence us about the drug war today, it can silence us on Iraq tomorrow and global warming the day after that.

ANTHONY PAPA

Communications specialist

Drug Policy Alliance

New York

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So the high court thinks that it is OK to wiretap American citizens without a warrant, has no problem with torturing prisoners in a secret prison and that it's fine to conduct government business in private without letting the public know who's involved -- but we can censor a high school student's right to free speech in the name of the "war on drugs." Sounds like Jesus isn't the only one doing too many bong hits.

STEVEN IRELAND

Los Angeles

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Re "Rules on political ads eased," June 26

So the "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" kid lost, 5 to 4, in the Supreme Court. A high school principal can legally squish the rights of a kid with a sign she doesn't like. Then, in the interest of free speech, the Roberts court turns around and blows a gaping hole through the McCain-Feingold Act, allowing business interests with deep pockets to pour money into election advertising with very few actual restrictions.

So let me get his straight: The 1st Amendment rights of big, fat corporations are sacrosanct, but a student's rights don't matter. Good job, Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., you are serving your corporate masters well. I better express my dissent now while the Roberts court still allows it.

TIM DOYLE

Glendale

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