Pubdate: Wed, 06 Jun 2001
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001 Guelph Mercury Newspapers Limited
Author: Alan Randell


Dear Editor:

Re "Drug use exacts a terrible price", Letters, May 30.

My heart goes out to Judy Wellhauser as she mourns the recent loss of her 
brother to drugs, but as a grieving parent of another drugs victim (my son 
died in 1993) I have to tell her that her response, while understandable, 
is wrong. I felt as she did when my wife and had to travel to Burnaby to 
identify Peter's body, but those angry feelings were replaced by other 
angry feelings as I read all I could about drugs and drug policy.

Imprisoning every single drug dealer in town will do nothing to save the 
lives of other youngsters who will be tempted to try illegal drugs in the 
future, others will take their place. The only way to reduce the harm of 
drugs is to legalize them.

Allowing users once more to purchase clean, cheap, quality-tested drugs at 
the corner store will do more to reduce the harm done by drugs, the user 
deaths, the explosion in crime, the jammed jails and courts, the spread of 
dangerous diseases like AIDS and hepatitis and increased police corruption, 
than hiring a million police officers or building a thousand detox centres.

Ms. Wellhauser's brother, my son and thousands of other brothers and sons 
and sisters and daughters who have died as a result of ingesting illegal 
drugs were killed by government policy -- drug prohibition. And our senile 
joke of a prime minister says he sees no reason to change it.

Alan Randell
Victoria, BC
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