Pubdate: Mon, 17 Jun 2002
Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Iowan
Author: Robert Sharpe, Kirk Muse


In his thoughtful June 13 column, James Eaves-Johnson asks why some drugs 
require the creation of a punitive Nanny State, while other dangerous drugs 
are legal. Simply put, nontraditional drugs represent the counterculture to 
reactionaries in Congress intent on forcibly imposing their version of 
morality. Make no mistake, the war on some drugs is an intergenerational 
culture war, not a public-health campaign.

Diet is the No. 1 determinant of health outcomes. Do we really want the 
government monitoring everything that goes into our bodies? And if it is 
the proper role of government to punish citizens for unhealthy choices, why 
target drugs such as marijuana? Unlike alcohol, pot has never been shown to 
cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of 

This country cannot afford to continue subsidizing the prejudices of 
hateful culture warriors. The drug war threatens the integrity of a country 
founded on the concept of limited government. The United States now has the 
highest incarceration rate in the world, due in large part to the war on 
some drugs.

It's not possible to wage a moralistic war against consensual vices unless 
privacy is completely eliminated, along with the Constitution. America can 
either be a free country or a "drug-free" country, but not both. Students 
who want to help make a difference should contact Students for Sensible 
Drug Policy at

The results of a comparative study of European and U.S. rates of drug use 
can be found at:

Robert Sharpe, M.P.A.

Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
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Prohibition Doesn't Work

Major kudos to James Eaves-Johnson for his outstanding column "Put the DEA 
thugs out of business (DI, June 13). Almost 100 percent of our so- called 
"drug-related" crime is caused by drug prohibition, not drugs.

Today's meth labs are very similar to the illegal distilleries of the era 
known as the "Noble Experiment." During our alcohol-prohibition era, 
thousands died and thousands went blind and were crippled for life from 
what was then known as "bathtub gin."

Like the meth of today, the "bathtub gin" was easily made from household 
and industrial products. Like the meth of today, the "bathtub gin" was a 
product created by prohibition. Like the meth of today, illegal alcohol 
could be manufactured just about anywhere. Like the meth of today, 
Prohibition-era alcohol was of unknown quality, potency, and purity.

When Prohibition ended in 1933, almost 100 percent of the "bathtub gin" 
producers went out of business for economic reasons and stayed out of the 
business for economic reasons.

If prohibition worked, tobacco should be the first product prohibited and 
alcohol the second. But prohibition doesn't work, except to provide full 
employment for those doing the prohibiting.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz., resident 
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