Pubdate: Fri, 12 Jul 2002
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
Copyright: 2002 The Cincinnati Enquirer
Author: Evereff DeJager


The way to treat drug offenders may be changed, says the July 9 Enquirer. 
Instead of being thrown into jail, they will receive treatment. Maybe, in 
all the toil and trouble of arrests and court cases, some common sense will 
emerge.   What if a person threatened "with treatment or jail" for 
marijuana use says, "I am using marijuana to relieve the nausea I get from 
the anti-cancer drugs the doctors give me. Marijuana is my treatment. 
Please just get out of the way. Let me live my life."

Maybe, the question will emerge: Why are we spending billions to protect 
people from hurting themselves? This is exactly what the drug war attempts. 
Doing this requires somebody to decide what is dangerous. Government has 
decided that using certain "forbidden substances" is dangerous, punishable 
by prison. Now we may change that to "punishing by treatment."

What should be done to people who consume "forbidden substances?" 
Libertarians say nothing. If a person acts destructively after consuming, 
then arrest. But arrest for the action, not the substance.

"Treatment, not jail" is a change. Perhaps an improvement. But, say the 
libertarians, it's still an effort to protect people from their own 
mistakes. It's still impossible, still destructive.

Evereff DeJager

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