Pubdate: Mon, 02 Oct 2000
Date: 10/02/2000
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Author: Wade C. MacGregor

When a police officer says that legalization of drugs would be bad for
the country, he (or she) should be heard as saying that legalization
would be bad for the police.

For high-ranking police, existing drug laws provide an excuse for
empire building. Because the war on drugs is capable of absorbing
almost infinite resources, its continuation means more manpower and
higher budgets, and a higher profile and salary for the top cops.

For front-line policemen, narcotics enforcement is more glamerous and
interesting  than most other areas of police work.

The war on drugs provides a wonderful excuse for restricting civil
liberties and reducing or eliminating the application of all those
bothersome rules designed  to protect the innocent from police
overzealousness, which the police see as preventing them from doing
their jobs properly.

Wade C. MacGregor,