Pubdate: Tue, 13 Aug 2002
Source: Springfield News-Leader (MO)
Copyright: 2002 The Springfield News-Leader
Author: Greg Looney


I am glad the two sergeants injured in the Aug. 7 helicopter crash lived 
through the experience. But instead of concentrating on what went wrong, we 
need to question why these lives are being risked in the first place. It is 
common knowledge that our efforts at eradicating marijuana (or any other 
drug) are symbolic in nature and have no real effect on the economics of 
the drug trade. So why do they continue?

Marijuana and many other "hard drugs" aren't even a blip on the radar 
screen of destructiveness when compared to alcohol, especially when you 
factor out the inherent criminality associated with the black market 
distribution of said drugs. The answer lies mostly in economics. 
Corrections facilities are big business these days, and there has to be 
justification for all the money spent on building and staffing these 

No career politician in his or her right mind is going to do the right 
thing and endorse drug decriminalization when it is going to cost jobs 
amongst their constituency, and likely votes at election time.

The "War on Drugs" is a punitive and economic war against American citizens 
that needs to be acknowledged for the farce that it is. The illegality of 
drugs is responsible for far more criminal behavior than the drugs themselves.

Our resources at all levels would be more appropriately allocated toward 
apprehending and incarcerating perpetrators of violent crime, and 
protecting our children from predators.

Greg Looney, Springfield
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