Pubdate: Wed, 24 May 2000
Source: New York Post (NY)
Copyright: 2000, N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
Authors: Danny Terwey, Paul Bischke, Robert Sharpe


I have studied the biochemistry of the drug known as Ecstasy, and I
strongly suspect that chronic use results in a form of brain damage
("Feds try to keep tabs on Ecstasy," May 14).

However, it is not nearly so scary as the brain damage apparently
sustained by those pushing militant prohibition of recreational drugs.

As voters, taxpayers and jurists, we must focus on policies that
reduce the harm associated with these substances.

In the early 20th century, we experimented with a unilateral alcohol
ban. The subsequent alcoholism, corruption and violence will prevent
us from ever trying that particular experiment again.

It frustrates me to see our politicians ignore those causal
relationships when creating policies for other drugs, many of them far
less harmful.

Danny Terwey
Santa Cruz, Calif.


What do the great drug-abstinence task forces propose to do about
Ecstasy? Perhaps another Operation Condor will kill a few more
innocent citizens, much like they killed Patrick Dorismond after he
"just said no" to drugs. The drug war is reprehensible.

Paul Bischke
St. Paul, Minn.


Ecstasy is the latest synthetic drug to make headlines, but it won't
be the last.

Current drug policy is a gateway drug policy. As the most popular
illicit drug, marijuana provides the black market connections that
introduce drug users to harder drugs like ecstasy.

While there is nothing inherent in the marijuana plant that compels
users to try harder drugs, its black market status puts users in
contact with criminals who sell hard drugs.

While a liquor store will refuse to sell alcohol to a minor, a drug
dealer will sell to anyone. As long as marijuana remains illegal, the
established criminal distribution network will ensure that America's
children can sample every new poison concocted by drug pushers.

Given that marijuana is increasingly recognized as being safer than
alcohol or tobacco (it is impossible to die from a marijuana
overdose), why not end marijuana prohibition?

Robert Sharpe
Washington, D.C.
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