Pot Shots in the War on Drugs

Before reading the article, answer the following questions.

  1. Should drugs be legalized?
  2. What are the advantages of drug legalization?
  3. If you don't think that hard drugs such as heroine and cocaine should be legalized, how about legalizing marijuana?
  4. Why should we or should we not legalize marijuana?
  5. How beneficial is marijuana to those stricken with aids, cancer and other serious illnesses?
  6. Why are certain public officials opposed to the legalization of marijuana?

After reading the article, answer the following questions:

  1. What stand does the cartoon strip Doonesbury advocate on matters of marijuana?
    1. it should be legalized
    2. it should not be legalized
    3. it should be permitted only for patients of serious diseases
    4. It should be permitted only to those who have permits (official permission).

  2. What are the provisions of California ballot initiative Prop 215
    1. it should be legalized
    2. it should not be legalized
    3. it should be permitted only for patients of serious diseases
    4. It should be permitted only to those who have permits (official permission).

  3. Attorney-General Lungren was angry with the Doonesbury cartoon and asked California newspapers to remove them. What was their reaction?
    1. they removed them.
    2. all but 7 removed them
    3. no one removed them
    4. only the right wing newspaper the Sacramento Bee removed the strip

  4. According to the provisions of the proposed law, how would a anyone be able to obtain pot legally?
    1. anyone could buy it from a dealer without fear of penalty
    2. one need a doctor's prescription
    3. one would need a police permit signed by a doctor
    4. marijuana would be sold the same as cigarettes in drug stores

  5. How do voters feel about Prop 215?
    1. they oppose it 2:1
    2. they favor it by a 75% margin
    3. they favor the bill by a 2:1 margin
    4. they are almost 100% in favor of the proposition

  6. How much financial backing do the bill proponents have?
    1. very little; those favoring the bill are without major funding sources
    2. there's a grass roots campaign to raise funds for the bill (no pun intended)
    3. there are some very rich backers including some individuals who contribute millions annually.
    4. comparatively little compared to the opponents of the bill

  7. If California passes Prop 215, what will be the legal situation on the federal level?
    1. pot will become legal throughout the 50 states.
    2. pot will still be illegal throughout the country
    3. it would be illegal but the government would "look the other way"
    4. It would be illegal only on federal territory such as the District of Columbus or in American embassies and consulates abroad.

  8. What is a major concern about the legalization of pot for medicinal purposes?
    1. those who are sick would obtain it very easily
    2. those complaining about headaches would want to use it as well as those truly needful
    3. pot users would soon be interested in harder drugs
    4. the government has tried so hard to get people to cut down on cigarettes - the legalization of marijuana would be counter productive.

  9. What is perhaps the major concern about the legalization of pot for the sick?
    1. almost anyone could obtain it.
    2. the drug situation would get out of control
    3. we would have the same disastrous results in the US. that they had in Zurich and Amsterdam.
    4. Many needful Americans would find pot to expensive to purchase.

Who are those associated with the following comments.

Vocabulary study: Choose the meaning in the right column that are associated with those in the left column...
1. eyeful a) straight-laced..very correct
2. buttoned-down b) arrest
3. wink-and-nod c) the head.. boss
4. drug czar d) those that support a movement
5. backers e) just a few
6. handful f) exception
7. non-binding resolution g) to ignore
8. to yank the strips h) to notice
9. loophole i) to remove or cancel
10. the drug bust j) has no legal basis.. can't be enforced

Complete the following paragraph
Gary Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury has taken on the fight of those ________________ Proposition 215 which would ____________the legal purchase of marijuana for those suffering with serious illnesses such as cancer, aids and the like. The California attorney general Dan Lungren was ______________ over the strip since it opposed the present law which does not favor legalization. Lungren feels that those supporting drugs will be ______________ the war on drugs. The government has had several dialogs with the state of California over this issue to plot the ____________ for the defeat of this bill. Opponents feel that every ________________will want to move to California. Many feel that pot helps those who suffer from major illnesses by providing_______________ from the nausea and pain of chemotherapy and potent aids drugs. Although the state legislature has already passed bills favorable to the legalization of marijuana, the governor Pete Wilson has _______________ it on two occasions.

winning vetoed supporting strategy relief
pothead losing furious advocate ambition

State whether the following are true or false...

  1. Dan Lungren succeeded in having Doonesbury cartoon strips yanked from the daily press.
  2. Prop 215 advocates pot only for those with severe illnesses.
  3. The Clinton administration is sympathetic to those who wish to legalize marijuana.
  4. Marijuana is said to relieve the pain and suffering of cancer and aids patients but this is a myth.
  5. Californians generally oppose Prop 215.
  6. Pete Wilson twice vetoed bills to legalize pot for the very ill.
  7. California doctors and nurses are strong backers for Prop 215.
  8. Soros is waging a one-man campaign to oppose Prop 215.
  9. The success or failure of Prop 215 could have serious repercussions for the rest of the country.
  10. Even if Prop. 215 passes in California, the legalization of pot for the very sick is still illegal on the federal level

Put the sentences in the order in which they appear in the article.

What would you consider the best topic sentence for the first paragraph?

  1. Lungren's sense of humor isn't what it used to be.
  2. The legalization of marijuana will spell the doom for America
  3. Strong opposition to Proposition 215 threatens the legalization of pot for those with serious illnesses.
  4. Doonesbury focus on marijuana for the seriously ill has upset the attorney general.

What is the major concern of the second paragraph. (Lungren may have failed to purge...)

  1. Every pothead in America would like to move to California
  2. There's no limit to the amount of pot which would be sold and consumed in California.
  3. Thousands of sick people would be denied a chance the relief that pot offers.
  4. Permission to grow or smoke marijuana would depend on oral permission from a doctor.

Debate the issue of marijuana legalization for the very sick with a classmate. Take the opposing point of view of your classmate.