Pubdate: Sun, 30 Jul 2000
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2000 The Sun-Times Co.
Contact:  401 N. Wabash, Chicago IL 60611
Author: Philip N. Brown


As an African American, I was pleased to read the editorial "Dialogue can 
spur new look at drugs." Since the first time I smoked marijuana, I knew 
that the current policy of drug prohibition was wrong. In fact, at 15, my 
attitude was that if I am being lied to about marijuana, perhaps I am being 
lied to about other drugs as well. Luckily, I was able to see cocaine and 
LSD as drugs I didn't want to mess with.

Later, I was further convinced of the absolute stupidity of the drug war in 
a free market economy. In Economics 101, I learned that if supply decreases 
without a change in demand, prices will increase, thereby making it more 
attractive to suppliers to provide to consumers. Trying to prevent the 
supply of a very select group of products in an otherwise free market is 

Second, from a historical perspective, I knew that prohibition had failed 
long ago, and that reasonable regulation was much more sane than the 
current policy. The black market for illegal drugs creates violence. Can 
anyone remember the last time beer distributors killed each other for 

Let us start a debate about a sensible way to back out of this 
counterproductive drug war.

Philip N. Brown, Tempe, Ariz.
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