Avatar No. 3, July 7-20, 1967, p 13
Dotti Le Mieux: Freaked-out in the Federal Building

hen a man is freed from ignorance," read the first words in the first issue of Avatar; yes when man is freed from ignorance what a nice world it will be. But until that day man will have to contend with the dark but controlling forces in our society. Some such forces come in the form of potentially fine people who just got tuned in to the wrong frequency. Such a man I met today in the process of writing this article.

I dressed up very straight this morning, complete with white blouse and tortoise-shell glasses and went for a visit to the FDA Bureau of Drug Abuse Control. I figured it was about time someone gave the other side a chance to speak, look at things from a fed's point of view.

Paranoia is entering an antiseptic office and facing a larger than life and full color painting of a badge. Paranoia increases as you sit flanked by portraits of JFK and LBJ and a smiling man in a gray suit ushers you into his office. He is Mr. Chief Fed.

I played it very straight and asked all the proper questions for which I could not receive the proper answers. "The old run around" I thought staring at the most beautiful water pipe I've ever seen (obviously confiscated in a bust), as he answered, "Marijuana is illegal because there is a federal law against it." Right!

Does anyone count up ignorance? There seems to be a lot of it going around, and it seems to be going around the wrong circles. Mr. Chief Fed was a very nice man; I liked him in spite of myself. But I also felt sorry for him, for his being uninformed, He was uninformed and admitted it, "I'm a policeman and don't try to pretend to be otherwise." I liked him for his sincerity. I'd love to turn him on.

Still searching for the answers to my questions I spoke with a man from the narcotics squad, a man who, in direct contrast to the other, had all the answers. He was a real expert on the subject. He not only had the facts (marijuana first made illegal in 1937, penalties for traffic and possession 2-10 years) but the reasons behind the laws. It tends to produce "crimes of violence, robberies, assaults, murders." It is unsafe to drive while under the influence of marijuana. When I tried to point out that alcohol is responsible for many accidents, and it's perfectly legal, he just said, "Just because it's legal doesn't make it right," WHAT? ? ? ?

One of the main reasons grass is illegal is that it is "socially unacceptable." This is reason enough to warrant a law against it. Income tax is socially unacceptable too, but I've never seen a law against it. Alcohol, on the other hand, is accepted and therefore legal, and not to be mentioned in a discussion on drugs. He obviously neglected to read Public Affairs Pamphlet No. 390 which lists alcohol as an "abused drug."

The clincher, though, was his final statement, a real plug for the red, white and blue: "I don't see why anyone would want to fool around with dangerous and habit forming drugs, jeopardizing the careers and future when their principle aim should be to become good citizens in this country."

Somebody's got to turn on the Treasury Department!

Dotti Le Mieux