Pubdate: Wed, 30 Aug 2000
Source: Concord Monitor (NH)
Copyright: 2000 Monitor Publishing Company
Contact:  One Monitor Drive Concord, NH 03302-1177
Fax: (603) 224-8120
Author: Patricia Browning-Bonenfant


Letter to the editor

Years ago a friend who was a world traveler suggested that we in the United 
States were handling the matter of drugs in a way that was a sure loser.

A few years later, during a college internship at a hospital, I learned 
that he who wants to use, will. I also saw people who had a choice, jail or 
rehab. What would you choose? A nice sunny room, good food and play the 
therapy game, or incarceration? Dah!

The sad thing was that I assumed that most people in that hospital had no 
real idea of quitting their habit. Sadder still was that they bore the 
label "criminal" in the eyes of society.

Prohibition did not work. It made the underworld rich, people died from 
poor-quality bathtub gin, the jails filled to capacity (like today) and 
good people were arrested because they may have been in the wrong place at 
the wrong time and consumed an alcoholic drink.

I am not condoning drug use. I only wonder where the wisdom lies in 
fighting an unwinnable war? It's like Vietnam all over again. The 
politicians are running the show, and at a great loss. The billions of 
dollars being spent could readily be used by this country in ways too 
numerous to mention.

Empty the jails of people who are there on minor drug charges (and who are 
probably learning some less than a great curriculum from the pros who are 
there for good reason). Legalize drugs. Control them. Tax them. Use the 
money for users who really want to kick their habit.

Morals cannot be legislated. The instilling of morals, consequences to 
actions and self-control is the job of parents, not the task of schools, 
the local judiciary or the federal government.


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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart