D.C. Council should decriminalize synthetic drugs

Next week, the D.C. Council is scheduled to decide whether to make possession of small amounts of certain synthetic drugs a crime.

Synthetic drugs like "K2" and "Ivory Wave" are popular among young people in their teens and 20s. While many are concerned about the availability of synthetic drugs, filling the D.C. Jail with more of our young people for possession is not the answer.

If the primary concern among council members is that young people have easy access to synthetic drugs, the city should regulate sales, impose age restrictions and punish retailers who do not comply.

-- Grant Smith

Federal policy coordinator, Drug Policy Alliance


Gun control laws do not stop violent crime

Re: "Colo. guv says time to talk gun control," Round Up, Dec. 14

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's call for "more gun control" ignores the fact that the vast majority of criminals don't get their guns legally. And because almost any hunting rifle will accommodate armor-piercing bullets, Hickenloopers' desire to ban "assault weapons" will not achieve his desired result. As my 11-year-old daughter exclaimed during the last presidential debate, "My pencil could be an assault weapon if I stab you I the neck with it."

The Oregon mall shooter stole his gun, and no gun control law would have stopped Aurora, Colo., shooter James Holmes from stockpiling more than 30 grenades and explosive devices in his apartment. One or more lawfully armed citizens are the only ones who could have stopped these killers.

Every state that has the most restrictive gun control laws -- such as New York, Illinois, California and Massachusetts -- also has the most violent crime. But crime rates are substantially lower in the 41 states that permit sensible "carry laws." Could there be a correlation?

-- Jeff Underwood

Simpsonville, Md.

Americans should be proud of our support for Israel

Re: "U.S. military aid to Israel perpetuates oppression of Palestinian people," From Readers, Dec. 12

Unlike George Meek, I am an American who is proud that we give Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, $3 billion per year to defend it against the 13,000 rockets being fired by Hamas and other terrorist groups from Gaza, more than 50,000 rockets in the hands of Hezbollah and future long-range Iranian missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads to eradicate the Jewish state, especially sincemost of the money is spent in the U.S. bolstering our own defense industry.

What Meek should be ashamed about is the $2 billion given annually to Egypt, now run by the Muslim Brotherhood, contrary to the interests of the United States, or the nearly $1 billion we give to the Palestinian Authority, which also receives billions from international organizations even though it is still dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

As for Meek's invocation of Desmond Tutu, South Africa would still be dominated by a white apartheid government if it were not for support for a black regime not only from Jews in South African, but Jews worldwide.

-- Nelson Marans

Silver Spring