Pubdate: Sat, 08 Dec 2001
Source: Beckley Register-Herald (WV)
Copyright: 2001 The Register-Herald
Author: Joseph E Hopwood


I was impressed with Mr. Paul W. LeBlanc's simple logic. The idea of paying 
farmers not to grow drug-producing plants is economically intriguing and, 
by any bookkeeping method, beats all our drug eradication efforts by miles. 
Indeed, why should we spend billions of bucks funding an army to invade 
Colombia and destroy its citizens at some considerable expense of American 
lives? Are not our children's lives more important than any amount of drugs?

However, there is a cheaper and simpler way out of this mess. Decriminalize 
personal amounts of drugs. There is nothing this or any other government 
can do to guarantee the radicals in the United States a drug-free world, 
which is the only way we may have a drug -free society in this country. The 
rest of the world is decriminalizing as I write; even stodgy old England is 
getting on the wagon by decriminalizing pot and legalizing the 
compassionate medical use of marijuana. Portugal has decriminalized drug 
use altogether.

If we are to lead the world, we must be freer than other countries or our 
words will be seen as merely hollow hypocritical rhetoric. Decriminalize 
now and there will be so little profit in drug production that farmers will 
be left to starve if they do not switch to another crop. It is not the 
police our drug lords fear. It is the corner drug store.

Joseph E. Hopwood

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