Pubdate: Fri, 12 May 2000
Source: Santa Maria Sun (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Santa Maria Sun
Contact:  1954-L South Broadway Santa Maria, CA 93454
Fax: 805-347-9889
Author: Redford Givens


People would have a better understanding of drug prohibition if newspapers 
told the truth about the effects of our lunatic drug laws. Instead of 
regurgitating government propaganda, the way your reporter John Dean does 
("Is Santa Maria losing its war on drugs?" the Sun, April 21).

Mr. Dean dutifully reports about police stepping up drug sweeps and being 
"educated" with a seven-step process for identifying meth users and tells 
us about the expanded use of "drug courts" without ever explaining that 
these measures have not lowered drug abuse.

If Mr. Dean really wants to educate us about solutions to our drug 
prohibition-created problems, he might start with the fact that no one was 
robbing, whoring, and murdering over drugs when addicts could buy all of 
the heroin, cocaine, morphine, opium, and anything else they wanted cheaply 
and legally at the corner pharmacy.

When drugs were legal, addicts held regular employment, raised decent 
families, and were indistinguishable from their teetotalling neighbors. 
Overdoses were virtually unheard of when addicts used cheap, pure Bayer 
Heroin instead of the expensive toxic potions that prohibition puts on the 
streets. Readers may want to go online to the Consumers Union Report on 
Licit and Illicit Drugs at to read more 
about this.

Where drug crime was unheard of, we now have prisons overflowing with drug 
users. Where addicts lived normal lives, we now have hundreds of thousands 
of shattered families. And where overdoses were extremely rare, we now have 
tens of thousands of drug deaths each year.

The addiction rate is now five times greater than when we had no laws at 
all, and now 19-year-olds are the fastest growing group of heroin users.

John Dean never mentions that all of the real problems we have with drugs 
have been created by lunatic drug crusaders more concerned with their own 
careers than with the public welfare.

Redford Givens,  San Francisco
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