Internal Possession an Issue of Law-making

by Matthew Mcgill | 11/21/94 6:00am

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to your editorial ("A Cause For Outrage?," Oct. 26) which was quoted in the November 4 edition of the Manchester Union-Leader.

Since I am in Oxford this term, I have regrettably not been able to obtain a copy of your full editorial and I only received the Union -Leader article. You will have to forgive the tardiness of my sentiments.

I was at once saddened and angered to read that you had reduced the lawsuit against the Hanover Police to a fight over, in the Union-Leader's quotation, our "right to party."

The reason I first brought these unlawful arrests for "internal possession" to the attention of your newspaper and the Dartmouth community in August had nothing to do with partying.

Furthermore, I believe the issue, such as it is, that the arrests raise to be at least as important as those raised by the Vietnam War, South African Divestment and National Coming Out Day.

The issue is who shall make our laws. Shall it be the constitutionally appointed and rightfully elected legislature of this state?

Or should we allow such responsibilities to devolve upon the whim and caprice of an overzealous police department and a renegade district court?

Who shall make our laws?

If you are so short-sighted that you are unable to see past the quite irrelevant fact that the students were arrested for possession of alcohol to see the greater significance of the issue, I fear for journalism at Dartmouth.