Pubdate: Sat, 15 Apr 2000
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2000 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Contact:   (letters to the editor)
Address: P.O. Box 3110 Honolulu, HI 96802
Fax: (808) 525-8037
Author: Kenji Klein


Scott Hovey's belief that the war on drugs will protect our children
from drugs (Letters, April 12) is wrong. The drug war has led to the
greatest increase in drug use in America's history.

This is not a coincidence. Prohibition creates a massive black market
for drugs and tremendous profit opportunities for dealers. These
profits entice dealers to get our children addicted to drugs. If we
want to reduce drug use, we should follow the example of countries
that have succeeded in doing so.

European countries that treat drug use as a medical problem have
succeeded in lowering drug use, while countries that treat it as a
criminal problem have failed. By softening penalties for addicts and
users while increasing support for treatment and honest drug
education, the Netherlands has earned itself one of the lowest rates
of drug use in the world.

Other European countries are moving in that direction and are
experiencing similar reductions in rates of drug use. These policies
clearly work better than our own at protecting children from drugs.

Everyone concerned about the future of our children should carefully
and honestly weigh all the evidence.

This issue is too important for a knee-jerk reaction.

Kenji Klein
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