Pubdate: Tue, 07 Aug 2001
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Copyright: 2001 St. Petersburg Times
Author: Daryl Henegar


Re: U.S. versus them, July 29.

The Libertarian Party's principle-based position on the war on drugs
has not changed in more than 30 years. Like most Americans,
Libertarians demand to be safe at home and on the streets.
Libertarians would like all Americans to be healthy and free of drug
dependence. But drug laws don't help; they only make things worse.

The professional politicians scramble to make names for themselves as
tough anti-drug warriors, while the experts agree that the war on
drugs has been lost, and could never be won. The tragic victims of
that war are your personal liberty and its companion, responsibility.
It's time to consider the re-legalization of drugs.

Some Americans will always use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other
drugs. Most are not addicts; they are social drinkers or occasional
users. Legal drugs would be inexpensive, so even addicts could support
their habits with honest work, rather than by crime. Organized crime
would be deprived of its profits. The police could return to
protecting us from real criminals, and there would be room enough in
existing prisons for them.

It's time to re-legalize drugs and let people take responsibility for
themselves. Criminal laws only drive the problem underground and put
money in the pockets of the criminal class. With drugs legal,
compassionate people could do more to educate and rehabilitate drug
users who seek help. Individuals have the right to decide for
themselves what to put in their bodies, so long as they take
responsibility for their actions.

 From the mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke, to conservative writer and
TV personality William F. Buckley Jr., leading Americans are now
calling for repeal of America's repressive and ineffective drug laws.

The Libertarian Party urges you to join in this effort to make our
streets safer and our liberties more secure.

Daryl Henegar,
Pinellas Park
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