Pubdate: Thu, 05 Jul 2001
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2001 Watertown Daily Times
Author: Andy Maslin


We certainly have a worthy cause, but are we going about it in the right 
way?  I personally abstain from the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, but 
as I have observed the war against drugs and some people involved with it 
on both sides of the law, these are some questions I have.

Can you see some similarities between the war in Vietnam and our war 
against drugs? Have we educated ourselves about the truth concerning the 
drugs, why we're fighting it in the fashion we are?  Are we really winning 
or just creating jobs?  If we are not winning, why aren't we?

Isn't there more violence now than when we started, much of it caused by 
our method of fighting the problem?

Who and where are the heroes?  Isn't the main soldier in the war the 
informant? Can he really be a hero?  If not,why not?

Isn't it also true that some people who hold honorable jobs, ones that we 
should respect, such as law officers, lawyers, judges, secretaries, clerks, 
etc., have turned to dishonorable means to win?  If you have to lie, cheat, 
misuse your authority to win, is it right? Does the end really justify the 
means?  When integrity is laid aside, shouldn't we consider why?

Did prohibition solve our problems with alcohol?  Would you say there's 
less violence in the way we're fighting it now than the way we fought it then?

Doesn't a black-market product in big demand create high prices and 
subsequently violence?  Is our prohibition-style war against drugs solving 
our problem or creating more?  Couldn't the enormous amount of money we're 
spending be applied more effectively?

Why is alcohol legal and marijuana illegal? Which substance has the greater 
history of family abuse, death, accidents, violence and hardship?

Is filling out jails and building new ones for nonviolent offenders our 
best answer?

What happened to the idea of leaders at all levels being examples, 
education our youth to the truth and rehabilitation for those who need 
help?  Couldn't we with the intelligence and modern means the good lord 
gave us come up with some alternatives?

We have many years of hindsight to help educate us and answer these 
questions.  The results of the test should prove the good and the bad of 
the theory.

Andy Maslin

Chase Mills, New York
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