Pubdate: Sun, 12 Nov 2000
Source: Observer, The (UK)
Copyright: 2000 The Observer
Contact:  119 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3ER, United Kingdom
Fax: 0171 713 4250/4286
Author: Joe Wein


Those of us who do not use illicit drugs are getting a lousy deal out of
drug prohibition. Cabinet Office Minister Mowlam's call for a 'sensible
debate' on drugs policy (News, last week) is right on target. People who
smoke tobacco or drink alcohol pay taxes to compensate society for the
collective health care costs that fall on all of us. It's not an ideal
solution but it beats the alternative that

Americans suffered during Alcohol Prohibition and that we chose for drugs
other than alcohol and tobacco. We should learn the lesson from the failed
experiment of Prohibition and legalise and tax currently illegal drugs,
starting with cannabis. I'd rather see all that money go to the Chancellor
than to unscrupulous criminals. Drug taxes would provide billions in funds
for education and treatment, the only approaches to the drug problem that

Joe Wein
Yokohama, Japan
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