Martin Sheen Addresses Addiction, Ballot Measure

Martin Sheen Addresses Addiction, Ballot Measure
Posted by FoM on October 20, 2000 at 20:53:55 PT
By Don Thompson, Associated Press Writer
Source: S.F. Gate
Actor Martin Sheen was cracking jokes and signing autographs for dozens of giddy fans of TV's ``The West Wing'' Friday, when the mood suddenly sobered. ``Can you write, 'Congratulations on your two years of sobriety?''' asked one woman as she sought an autograph for her husband. ``I've been clean 19 years this November,'' another woman later told him. ``Now you're bragging,'' joked Sheen, who said he has been sober nearly 12 years. 
Sheen shuttled from Sacramento to Oakland to Santa Monica Friday, rallying opposition against a Nov. 7 ballot measure that would require treatment instead of prison or jail for many drug users. He also will appear in an opposition ad that will air during Wednesday's ``West Wing'' episode. He told reporters and fans gathered outside the Sacramento County courthouse that Proposition 36 would actually hurt treatment programs. ``It takes away the leverage that a judge has to get an addict's attention,'' Sheen said at his Sacramento cameo. The proposition would require judges to sentence first or second time drug offenders to treatment -- rather than prison -- if they were caught with a stash small enough to be deemed for personal use. Sheen is no stranger to the issue. He said it took several jail stints to prompt him seek to help for his alcoholism. And he turned in his own son, ``Spin City'' star Charlie Sheen, after a drug May 1998 overdose sent him to the hospital. ``I have a measure of credibility with my own addiction to alcohol,'' Sheen said in an interview. ``More importantly, it gives me an understanding of what's at stake with Proposition 36, how much chaos it will cause if it's passed, and how many people will be overlooked, not the least of which could be alcoholics.'' The woman who chairs the pro-36 movement, drug-law reformer Gretchen Burns Bergman of San Diego, accused Sheen of ``turning his back on thousands of poor and middle-class kids'' in a statement. Others, particularly Sheen's Hollywood associates, have accused the 60-year-old of abandoning his usually progressive views. Sheen said that's because they haven't read the proposition's fine print, which he believes could lead to the decriminalization of hard drugs. ``All my liberal friends, they're all over me -- 'Oh, what are you doing here, are you against rehabilitation for drug addicts, look at you're own life','' Sheen said. But he said courts must be tough on addicts, just as he had no choice but to turn in his son after the overdose. Charlie Sheen was ordered to complete a rehabilitation program as a condition of his probation on an unrelated charge. ``You have to love your children enough to risk their wrath by telling them the truth,'' Sheen said. ``We're two adults and we've both come through an extraordinary recovery in our lives. The miracle of recovery is very present, it's the most important thing in our lives and in our relationship -- we can relate as father and son, as fellow brothers in a community; you know, in a 12-step program.'' Between bites of apple and rice crackers in a crowded Ford Expedition racing between appearances, Sheen lauded his son's willingness to be upfront about his reputation as a womanizer and drug user in his new television show. ``It was wonderful,'' Sheen said. ``It was like he was speaking at a (12-step) meeting.'' Sheen showed up looking like a president in a dark suit, blue shirt and dark red tie, and even went through a mock introduction as the president. But he said playing that role on television doesn't give him increased credibility. Rather, he hopes the publicity surrounding his opposition will counter the Proposition 36 push from three billionaires who successfully backed California's medical marijuana law four years ago. He said drug treatment is actually a matter of social justice -- akin to his protest against military space technology that brought his arrest at Vandenberg Air Force Base earlier this month. ``One time a dear friend of mine asked me, is your activism hurting your career. And without even hesitating, I said, 'I hope so,''' Sheen said. ``Because if it didn't, then I had to question the value of what I was doing.'' Sacramento (AP)Source: S.F. Gate Author: Don ThompsonPublished: October 20, 2000©2000 Associated Press  Related Articles & Web Site:California Campaign For New Drug Policy Pass The Ballot, My Friend Martin Sheen Joins Foes of Drug Measure Articles - Proposition 36 
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Comment #5 posted by observer on May 06, 2004 at 13:44:04 PT
father gets off lightly for killing son...
.. because the father thought the son may have used drugs2004-04-30 New Zealand: Jail For Man Who Beat Son To Death For Smoking Drugs'll be out in a few months, at most, I predict. Killing somone because they may have used drugs is always acceptable. "Smoking drugs", now that is the real crime. Drugs lead to violence, and those with an investment in the drug war will happily tell you so.The penalties for "distributing" meth in NZ -- distribution is defined broadly, like passing someone a pipe, for example --include life imprisonment. Pass a meth pipe, get life in jail; murder a druggie, get a few months in jail. See how that works?Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them. - George Santayana
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Comment #4 posted by observer on December 27, 2000 at 22:27:09 PT
Flashback: Texas, 1977
(1977)Dad Tells of Killing His SonORE CITY, Tex. (UPI) -- Forrest “Chubby” Grigg was a father worried about his 20-year-old son’s involvement with drugs.“I tried everything,” said the 51-year-old former professional football player.On the night of Oct. 31, Grigg could not stand the strain any longer. He walked into his son’s bedroom, folding the hands of the sleeping youth across the chest and shot him in the temple.Grigg’s one-day murder trial was held last week in this small Northeast Texas town. After the jury deadlocked 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal, Grigg changed his plea to guilty to voluntary manslaughter.District Judge Virgil Mulanax gave the father a five-year probated sentence for killing Mike Grigg.“I didn’t care what the sentence was,” the father said. “It didn’t enter my mind. There wasn’t any question about me killing him.“I would say I’d probably be condemned for doing it. But I had two different men come up to me after the trial and say they came awful close to doing that themselves. ‘Course I guess I was the only one crazy enough to have done it.”He paused, then said, “I’ll tell you, this old world is sure different than it was.”For years, there had been few signs of father-son animosity.“He was my pride and joy, and we did all sorts of things together -- until all this happened three years ago,” said Grigg. “But he changed, he changed completely.”Grigg, who played professional football in 1940s and 1950s for Buffalo, the Chicago Bears and the Cleveland Browns, says his easy-going, likeable son was fine until he became involved with drugs.His sports activities ceased, and in his senior year he was expelled from the 230-student Ore City High School because his hair was too long. He finished school by correspondence.The relationship between father and son worsened after he left school Grigg said he knew his son used drugs and was not trying to rehabilitate himself.Grigg said Mike was not an addict and, to his knowledge, used only valium and marijuana.“But my estimation is any drugs are dangerous,” Grigg said. “He was using pills, marijuana, cheap wine. He was not on the needle.“But you mix any one of those with alcohol and it gives you more kick. He got to where he had no ambition or attention for anything. 
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Comment #3 posted by Linda Spindor on December 27, 2000 at 19:22:28 PT:
I live in Texas and have a son that is thirty two years old.In the last two years he has had to face his problems with drugs. I know that he is trying but it seems hard for him to stay away from them. I have read in the news what you have done for your son and know I feel the same way. I would rather for him to be in jail because I feel he may end up dead. I love him and try to tell him that he has a good future. He is smart goodlooking but seems not to believe in himself.Anyway I want to tell you that I admire you for what you have done for your son. I think you did the only thing that might have saved his life.I hope he understands and does well in the future.
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Comment #2 posted by Dan Hillman on October 21, 2000 at 12:25:19 PT
who cares?
Gee, a hollywood actor who had to be a grown-up "bad boy" to eventually learn the lesson of responsibility.  Why do I feel like giving his opinion zero creedence?
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Comment #1 posted by EdC on October 21, 2000 at 04:42:43 PT:
prop 36
"Sheen is no stranger to the issue. He said it took several jail stints to prompt him seek to help for his alcoholism."Were those several stints in jail for 'possession' of alcohol, or am I missing something?
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