Pubdate: Mon,  6 Aug 2001
Source: Daily Herald (NC)
Copyright: 2001 Daily Herald
Author: Alan Randell


Questions 'street Smart' Article Re HRMC Employees Get 'street Smart', July 11

I'm glad to see your police officers venture into the community to 
acquaint others with street slang surrounding drugs. I'm less happy, 
though, to see the police talking about "the impact drugs can have on 
the county" which is presumably a means for the police to persuade 
the audience that drug prohibition is a good idea.

I would like to be a fly on the wall when an audience member asks a 
few probing questions about drug prohibition:

1. Where is it written in the Bill of Rights that the state has the 
right to punish people for what they choose to ingest into their own 

2. If an amendment (the 18th) to the constitution was needed to ban 
alcohol, why was an amendment not needed to ban drugs?

3. If drugs are banned because it is harmful to users, why, then, are 
tobacco and alcohol not banned?

4. In 1973, Canada's Le Dain commission concluded, "There appears to 
be little permanent physiological damage from chronic use of pure 
opiate narcotics." Why, then, ban heroin?

5. If prohibition is so great, why did America give up on Prohibition?

6. I've been told that police officers support laws like our drug 
laws because they increase crime and hence police budgets and police 
power. In fact, I'm told they would be in seventh heaven if tobacco 
or alcohol were banned. Would you care to comment?

For me, there is no more reason to punish drug users today than there 
was in the past to hang witches, lynch blacks or gas Jews. Alan 
Randell 1821 Knutsford Place Victoria, BC, V8N 6E3, Canada
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