Pubdate: Fri, 09 Aug 2002
Source: Isthmus (WI)
Copyright: 2002 Isthmus


Thank you for running the cover story, "Color Lines" (6/28/02). The piece
effectively highlights the way our nation's drug war creates a huge
potential for institutionalized racism.  Any law that requires an invasion
of privacy in order to detect its violation invites selective enforcement.
As is alluded to by Pam Oliver, there is great potential for people to be
targeted for racial, economic, or political reasons.

With more than 2 million people in prison nationwide, skyrocketing prison
budgets, and a constant and escalating assault on civil liberties on nearly
every front, it is obvious that the solution is not to step up enforcement
in white communities, but to shift the emphasis away from prosecution for
everyone. Drug abuse and its attendant social ills must be treated as a
public health problem.

Anyone who thinks that Prohibition laws stop drug use and abuse need only
look around to see that is not the case.  Reading up on alcohol Prohibition
will point up many disturbing parallels in the creation of illicit markets,
violence, organized crime, increased access among youth, and increased
supply of more impure and/or more dangerous substances.

The Drug War has failed.  It is time to stop pouring resources into it and
ruining lives in the process. We can do better.


Progressive Dane Drug Policy Task Force Stephanie Rearick, Brenda
Konkel, Judy Olson, Barbara Vedder, Gary Storck, Jon Hain, Bruce Rideout,
James Reinke
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