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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Do not let seats go empty at ASU game

    Nov. 25 there is a football game against the evil ASU Sun Devils. According to the Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star, there were only 1,500 student tickets sold for this game. Is everyone leaving town? If the student section is not sold out by Nov. 17, the tickets will be sold to anyone, even ASU fans/students. Please do not let this happen.

    Kathy Audelo
    UA alumna

    Environmental tobacco smoke not as dangerous as presented

    I write this in response to Jeremy Palmer’s letter Oct. 31. While I do not blame Palmer for his skewed views on environmental tobacco smoke, I feel it’s my duty to supply more thorough data and input on his argument for banning public smoking and subsequently being exposed to ETS. First off, I would like to state that the largest study in the world done to date, which was rigorously peer-reviewed and finally published in the May 17, 2003, issue of the British Medical Journal, found no increased risk of lung cancer or heart disease associated with second-hand smoke exposure.

    I could just stop there, but I say we throw that out and keep ourselves in the sheltered world of America’s politically influenced science. So then, according to the report released by the Surgeon General that you cited, “”Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.”” First off, this vague assessment of “”exposure”” at home or work would not include your whimpering over a “”smoldering butt.”” According to Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health and a longtime opponent of smoking, “”Where elevated risks of lung cancer are observed (from ETS), the elevations are relatively small – and are the result of high-dose, long-term exposures.”” Additionally, she adds, “”While one might think that a 30 percent increased risk translates into a person having a 1-in-3 chance of developing the disease, this is not the case at all. A 30 percent increase in lung cancer in a nonsmoker refers to increasing a risk that is very low to start with to a risk slightly higher. By contrast, a regular cigarette smoker increases his or her risk of lung cancer by over l,000 percent.””

    Dr. Richard Doll, the scientist who first linked active smoking to lung cancer, said in a 2001 radio interview, “”The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn’t worry me.”” Furthermore, all of this hype betrays the fundamental tenet of toxicology: “”Only the dose makes the poison.”” So what’s my solution? Try this: Stop worrying about how you’re going to die and start worrying about how you’re going to live. But if you really insist on worrying about something, how about the 30,000 people that, according to the American Lung Association, are annually killed by car emissions and the 40,000-plus killed by car collisions each year in the U.S.? Maybe we should ban cars from being on or anywhere near campus.

    Karl Kox
    UA alumnus

    “”War on Drugs”” politically motivated

    Samuel Feldman notes in his Tuesday column “”Who needs science when you have ideology?”” that Congress continues to fund anti-drug advertisements that its own research has shown to be ineffective. The most shameless government anti-drug ads appeared amid beer commercials during the Super Bowl, just months after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. The ads blamed casual drug users for funding international terrorism. The illicit drug of choice in America is domestically grown marijuana, not Colombian cocaine or Afghan heroin. The drug czar’s misleading drug-terror ads may have led Americans to mistakenly conclude that marijuana smokers are somehow responsible for Sept. 11. That’s likely no accident.

    Taxing and regulating marijuana would render the drug war obsolete. As long as marijuana remains illegal and distributed by organized crime, consumers will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. For obvious reasons, federal bureaucrats whose jobs depend on the never-ending drug war prefer to blame the plant itself for the alleged “”gateway”” to hard drugs. Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war otherwise known as the war on some drugs should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

    Robert Sharpe
    policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

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