Pubdate: Sun, 30 Jul 2000
Source: Northwest Florida Daily News (FL)
Copyright: 2000 Northwest Florida Daily News
Author: Clark Hosmer


In 1991, President Bush said, "If we've learned anything in this past 
quarter century, it is that we cannot federalize virtue."

The war on drugs tries to federalize virtue with prohibitions. In 1933, we 
stopped Prohibition with repeal of the 18th Amendment. The Supreme Court's 
latest consistent line of decisions has been aimed at restricting federal 
power in favor of states' rights.

Isn't it time for Congress to delegate authority to the 50 states to 
prohibit or authorize any drug?

The media would howl "Chaos!" A few states might prohibit all drugs, 
including alcohol and tobacco. A dozen states might authorize marijuana. A 
few states might study and use Switzerland's policy of authorized on-site 
use of hard drugs (rates of crime by drug users dropped from 69 percent to 
10 percent; their rate of employment more than doubled!).

Different state policies would produce different changes in state 
prosperity and crime. The states with the best results would be copied by 
other states wanting to have their share of the benefits with the least 
harm to the culture.

We need a sound policy on drugs. Let rates of prosperity and minimum crime 
help to define the best policies.

Clark Hosmer, Shalimar
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