Pubdate: Fri, 08 Dec 2000
Date: 12/08/2000
Source: Hobbs News-Sun (NM)
Author: Allan Erickson

To the Editor:

The opinion by Ralph Damiani ("Governor again embarrasses New Mexico,"
Dec. 2) contained a glaring error. Damiani mentions Gov. Johnson's
"pro-drug 'crusade.'" The governor is not pro-drug. The man doesn't
even advocate sugar.

Drug policy reform is about reducing the harm from prohibition and
(shock) most reformers desire to reduce the harm from illegal drugs

The United States has a love affair with drugs, largely the legal,
pharmaceutical kind. We have drugs for anything. There is even a drug
being developed for those who are problem shoppers. In the last two
years, seven legal drugs have been pulled from distribution. Over
100,000 deaths are caused in the U.S every year by legal drugs - 1,000
from aspirin.

The Betty Ford Clinic and other upscale treatment programs did not
start in order to help the crack addict; rather they were developed to
help those addicted to (gasp!) legal drugs.

As alcohol prohibition put the control of liquor into the hands of
mobsters, so too do today's drug prohibition policies put drugs into
the hands of thugs who are now very, very rich from an industry whose
profits go untaxed. Give Mr. Johnson a break.

Allan Erickson,
Eugene, Ore.

Bookmark: (Johnson, Gary)