Pubdate: Sun, 08 Apr 2001
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 2001 The Oregonian
Author: Kirk Muse


Regarding your editorial, " 'TRAFFIC' HITS A NERVE" (March 25, 2001), in 
1972, when President Nixon launched the war on drugs, the federal budget 
for the drug war was $101 million.  This year, the federal budget for the 
drug war will be $19.2 billion---a 190 fold increase.

In 1972, fewer than 5,000 Americans died from illegal drugs. Last year, 
almost 17,000 died from illegal drug use.

In 1972, fewer than 400,000 Americans were in jail or prison for all 
crimes.  Today the United States has more than 450,000 prisoners for just 
drug crimes.

Minor adjustments to our nation's drug policies are not the answer.  A 
major overhaul is required.

Kirk Muse Vancouver, Wash. 
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