Pubdate: Fri, 11 Jan 2002
Source: Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI)
Copyright: 2002 The Traverse City Record-Eagle
Author: Redford Givens


This is concerning your Jan. 4 editorial, "Grand Traverse County's Drug 
Court is worth a try."

After over 88 years of utter failure it is utterly insane to suggest that 
"drug courts" can make America's lunatic drug prohibition scheme work. A 
more practical course would be to repeal a counterproductive drug policy 
that causes more troubles than the drugs by themselves ever did or ever 
could do.

History proves that America's drug war is unnecessary because no one was 
robbing, whoring and murdering over drugs when addicts could buy all of the 
heroin, cocaine, morphine, opium and anything else they wanted cheaply and 
legally at the corner pharmacy. When drugs were legal addicts held regular 
employment, raised decent families and were indistinguishable from their 
teetotaling neighbors. Overdoses were virtually unheard of when addicts 
used cheap pure Bayer Heroin instead of the expensive toxic potions 
prohibition puts on the streets (See: The Consumers Union Report on Licit 
and Illicit Drugs

Where drug crime was unheard-of, we now have prisons overflowing with drug 
users. Where addicts lived normal lives, we have hundreds of thousands of 
shattered families. Where overdoses were extremely rare, we have tens of 
thousands of drug deaths every year. The addiction rate is now five times 
greater than when we had no laws at all.

These are the consequences of criminalizing drug use, not the effects of 
using the drugs themselves.

Drug courts are desperate drug warriors' way of delaying the inevitable 
repeal of drug prohibition because of its counterproductive nature.

It's worth remembering that Eliot Ness and the revenuers never put the 
booze barons out of business. Repeal and a regulated market for adult 
alcohol use did that. Regulation works for alcohol and regulation will work 
for drugs. Prohibition, on the other hand, has never worked for anything, 
anywhere, anytime.

Redford Givens,

San Francisco
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