Pubdate: Fri, 03 Mar 2000
Date: 03/03/2000
Source: Texas Observer (TX)
Author: Danny Terwey
Authors: Danny Terwey

James E. Garcia ("War and Hypocrisy," January 21) has my thanks for
his honest appraisal of the failing drug prohibition.  Studies have
indicated that funds spent on education and treatment are several
times more effective at reducing drug use than funds spent on
interdiction and prisons.  But our legislators seem intent to funnel
the vast majority of allocations to the drug warriors.  As a result we
have seen our police gain the authority to destroy lives.  Authorities
can now break down our doors without so much as knocking.  They can
legally "seize" (steal) private property without ever charging anyone
with a crime.

They can claim that unidentified informants have fingered suspects,
and the lack of accountability is frightening.  We citizens are
trusting our cops less and less, because the drug war is corrupting
them.  Ask the people of Los Angeles, who are seeing dozens of cases
overturned after a drug-running cop finally confessed.  At this point,
the United States has approximately two million prisoners, many jailed
for nothing but drug possession.  This makes us the most incarcerated
nation in the world.  I think we should change our anthem, for we are
most certainly not the "Land of the Free."

Danny Terwey,
Santa Cruz, California