Pubdate: Sat, 22 Jun 2002
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 2002 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Author: Mike Geries


I would like to respond in horror to the June 17 commentary by Ralph Voss, 
who called for widespread drug testing of the public. He claims that "half 
the people in the country between 20 and 40 use illegal drugs."

If this is the case it confirms the lesson we should have learned in the 
1920s: Prohibition does not work, and the war on drugs has failed.

This "war" is based on the false premise that the government has the right 
to prohibit foolish behavior. Drug use is a vice, not criminal behavior. 
The criminal behavior associated with the drug trade is perpetuated by 
prohibition, not the drugs. Drug use can be a problem, as can too much 
alcohol, tobacco, gambling or Big Macs. The hundreds of billions of 
dollars, tens of millions of man-hours and millions of lives wasted by this 
unholy crusade is appalling. And with the new war on terrorism, it is an 
expense we can no longer afford.

This "war" on drugs has been used by politicians and bureaucrats as a 
pretext to seize powers prohibited to them by the Constitution. The police 
state tactics - warrantless raids, asset seizures and the 
guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude - are something right out of Nazi 

I for one am relieved to see that Voss has retired from his position as 
judge of his kangaroo drug court. I only wish that the un-American 
mentality behind this fascist line of thought could be retired as well.

Mike Geries

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