Pubdate: Fri, 12 Jul 2002
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
Copyright: 2002 The Cincinnati Enquirer
Author: Barry Schlimmne
Bookmark: (Ohio Campaign for New Drug Policies)


Drug law reform in Ohio? It's about time. Put the "boogey-man" hype aside, 
the fear tactics that you have been fed by the people who have something to 
gain by maintaining the drug war. Then ask yourself. Who among us would not 
want to have all people to be healthy and free of drug dependence? If your 
answer to that question is "Certainly, everyone I know," then consider this 
- - alcohol prohibition tore America apart during the '20s and '30s and 
spawned organized crime. Today, the war on drugs keeps it going.

Criminal penalties have not, will not, and cannot prevent drug use. Just as 
it did with booze, criminal penalties drive up the price of drugs, which 
(a) makes dealing very profitable and (b) increases real crime because 
addicts must steal to support their addiction to expensive drugs. We, as a 
compassionate society, have elected to make the consumption of alcoholic 
beverages legal. For those who abuse the substance, we have any number of 
private-sector treatment programs. The same logic will work for drug abuse.

The three extremely wealthy businessmen who are bankrolling support for 
"decriminalization;" what do they personally have to gain by 
compassionately bringing an end to the harsh treatment of non-violent drug 
users? And will Bob Taft gain by keeping you in fear of compassionately 
treating rather than incarcerating a non violent drug user?

Barry Schlimmne

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