Pubdate: Sun, 11 Nov 2001
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2001 Watertown Daily Times
Author: Lee Monnet


This letter is in response to a recent article printed in the Watertown 
Daily Times headed "Law Makers may Scrutinize Budget of Drug Task Force". 
St. Lawrence County Legislator Peter Fitzrandolph (D) Canton asked county 
Sheriff Gary Jarvis some valid questions regarding the effectiveness of the 
drug task force at the legislatures October 31 finance committee meeting. 
Mr. Fitzrandolph asked the sheriff when we can expect to get the big 
players in the drug trade and that it seems all we are doing is arresting 
small-time people, at a considerable cost to county taxpayers.

In the last 30 years we have been spending hundreds of billions of dollars 
on a failed war on drugs at a cost to our civil liberties and privacy. It 
has been an excuse to undermine our financial privacy while promoting 
illegal searches and seizures.

Many people losing their lives and property. With profit incentives so high 
people are always going to smuggle, produce, sell, and profit from illegal 
and artificially high priced drugs. We have learned the hard way that 
alcohol prohibition of the 1920's created a completely unregulated market 
which allowed gangsters to gain huge profits, corrupt police, judges, and 
every level of government. They murdered their competition and sometimes 
produced lethal products that killed or seriously injured the consumer. The 
drug war is not unlike alcohol prohibition.

A recent example of the corruption caused by drug profits is the arrest of 
a Rome city councilman who was charged with conspiring to sell cocaine.

Mr. Fitzrandolph is not alone in questioning the direction of our current 
drug policies. Governors Johnson (R) New Mexico and Ventura (I) Minnesota 
have joined a growing list of political office holders who have voiced 
their opposition to the draconian drug laws.

Lee Monnet

Ogdensburg, NY
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