Pubdate: Wed, 17 Jul 2002
Source: Glendale News-Press (CA)
Copyright: 2002 Times Community Newspapers
Author: Alan Randell


I suspect the reason police officers don't very often attempt to 
indoctrinate kids older than grade six or so with their anti-drug DARE 
clap-trap (that doesn't work anyway) is because the older children may ask 
difficult questions like these:

1. Why are you giving this lecture and not someone who really knows about 
these drugs, such as a user or physician?

2. The Bill of Rights implies that citizens have the right to pursue their 
own form of happiness so long as they harm no one else (by "harm", I don't 
mean causing anguish to friends and family, otherwise we would jail all 
divorcing parents along with any kid who didn't do his or her homework. I 
mean direct, physical harm).

Thus it seems Americans have the right to ingest any drug, however harmful. 
Why do you feel the government has the right to punish individuals for what 
they choose to ingest into their own bodies and jail those who supply them?

3. If drugs are banned because they are harmful to users, why, then, are 
tobacco and alcohol not banned?

Doesn't this seem unfair to those who prefer illegal drugs? If we ban one 
harmful drug, shouldn't we ban all harmful drugs?

4. Is it not true that, far from protecting users from harm, banning a drug 
harms them much more than would otherwise be the case because it cuts them 
off from access to drugs of known potency and purity?

Weren't thousands of Americans poisoned or blinded by adulterated alcohol 
during Prohibition? Didn't the problems vanish when alcohol was legalized 

5. Canada's 1973 Le Dain Commission concluded, "There appears to be little 
permanent physiological damage from chronic use of pure opiate narcotics." 
Why, then, ban heroin?

6. If prohibition is so great, why did America give up on the prohibition 
of alcohol?

7. Is it not true that if drugs were legalized, the power of the Colombian 
cartels would be severely curtailed?

After all, Prohibition created Al Capone, not the other way around.

8. Is it not true that if marijuana were legalized, marijuana growing 
operations would be no more dangerous, do no more damage and steal no more 
hydro than the average tomato grow operation? Ditto for meth labs.

9. Given the above points, what else could drug prohibition be other than a 
Hitler-like government pogrom designed to distract the voters'attention 
away from more important issues by ruining the lives of an identifiable 
minority of innocent people?

Alan Randell, Victoria

B.C., Canada
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