Celebrating The Fourth Through Freedom Of Speech - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/02/05

Celebrating The Fourth Through Freedom Of Speech

A small group gathered at Point Cadet Plaza in Biloxi Saturday afternoon to celebrate the nation's upcoming 229th birthday, by talking about what they believe are the country's problems and their opinions on solutions.

"So many Americans are sitting on the sidelines and while they are sitting on the sidelines, their politicians and the corporations are basically dictating the direction that our country is going in. And so it's an attempt on our part, and when I say 'our part', I'm talking about concerned citizens in the community who are trying to find another way to do things," said event promoter Jim Smith.

One topic of discussion - the nation's war on drugs.

Speaker Larry Henson of the national group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition says the streets are not safer, and changes need to be made.

"We support the idea that we should go back to the way it was before the so-called war on drugs, before prohibition one even, when these drugs were legal. So we support legalization of drugs, treat them as a medical problem, treat people who are addicts as addicts, as a medical problem and not as criminals and put them in our prisons," said Henson.

Everyone may not have agreed with proposed solutions like this one presented throughout the evening, but the event served as an opportunity for concerned citizens to get together and freely share their feelings.

And demonstrating that freedom is what this group believes is the best birthday gift they can present to honor the nation.

This is the fourth year the group Stop The Madness has presented this event in honor of Independence Day.

By Karla Redditte

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