Letter to Cronkite

John Champagne
San Antonio, Texas

June 20, 1992

Walter Cronkite
524 W 57th St.
New York, NY  10019

Dear Mr. Cronkite,

You are opposed to oppression and to 'law & order' as code word for oppression.  
Today, a common pretext for state-sponsored oppression across the land is the 
prohibition on the growing and use of cannabis hemp.  Cannabis prohibition 
creates opportunities for government to confront peaceful citizens, take away 
their home and other property without trial, and in some cases without their 
being in violation of any law.  Did you see 'Prime Time Live'?  Government 
informants would reduce their sentences, keep their home, and ruin someone 
else's life all in one action.

Cannabis is a uniquely versatile plant.  It provides high quality fiber, 
nutrition, energy and medicine all from one seed.  People have exploited this 
natural resource and enhanced it through selective cultivation for a very long 
time.  Your grandpa probably sold it in his store.

Apparently, some people discovered that racism, fear and ignorance could be 
exploited to hasten the removal of this plant from the national and global 
economy, and thereby ensure the greatest profit margins of synthetic fiber 
producers and drug companies.  '60 Minutes' did a report on medicinal uses of 
marijuana and pointed out drug company profiteering as a motive for not 
legalizing the plant.  No one in the mainstream media has reported that it was 
taxed heavily to begin with, then prohibited, to bolster the profits of DuPont 
and associates.  Do you ever ask yourself or other news producers, 'Why not?'  
I suppose I should write to '60 Minutes' and 'Prime Time Live' producers and 
ask them, "Hey!  What gives?  I rely on you as a journalist and now I feel 
like I need to tell you how to do your job."  Maybe we know why some things 
are not reported.  Reporting them may harm the interests of the advertisers, 
whose interests the program producers serve.

Turn now to another great untold story about oppression across the land.  
Individuals are living in hot, crowded, foul-smelling and bacteria-infested 
conditions hidden away in factory farms.  These conditions are worse than what 
any dog should suffer, and should not be imposed on any other being for the 
convenience of enslaving them inexpensively for food production.  I cannot 
think of any case where we should allow this misery to be imposed on powerless 
beings by the powerful.  Even if one wished to justify current practices of 
animal slavery on the basis of the victims being members of other species, it 
would be difficult to justify the enormous waste of every critical resource, 
i.e. land, water, soil, energy, clean air..., that is involved in the 
production of dead bodies of animals for our palates.

High levels of use of land, water and energy, and enormous amounts of pollution 
can be attributed to this one industry.  I think the public should know this.  
It should be reported on the news.  I also feel that the public should be made 
aware of the dangers associated with eating meat.

I read that the 21st Century Party will hold its founding convention in late 
August.  It was described as a coalition of NOW and other social justice and 
environmental groups.  I hope you can find the time to speak to or encourage 
this new political activity.  From reading the platform and knowing where you 
stand, I would say you would probably like it.  Of course, for such an effort 
to succeed right now would require that they put forth a strong candidate, 
someone who is widely known and respected by the people.  Of course, I want 
you to be that candidate.  How 'bout it?  Will you do it?  Please.


John Champagne

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