Pubdate: Thu, 29 Jun 2000
Source: Tribune Review (PA)
Copyright: 2000 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Redford Givens


Repealing our lunatic drug laws and installing a regulated system for adult 
drug use similar to that used for alcohol will end the disaster known as a 
war on drugs. ("Raising the white flag of surrender in the war on drugs," 
June 24).

It's worth remembering 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 teetotaling neighbors.

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

Our drug disaster is the result of insanely bad policy, not bad drugs. 
Until we learn the lesson that drug prohibition is a failed policy that has 
never worked for anything, anywhere, anytime, we will be doomed to the 
endless carnage of a counterproductive drug strategy. We were better off 
when we had no drug laws at all, so abandoning a bad policy makes good sense.

Redford Givens
San Francisco
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