Pubdate: Tue, 23 Apr 2002
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2002 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Author: Joel W. Maxey, Sr.


To the editor:

We still think of Prohibition, with a capital "P," as applying to
alcoholic beverages, which were made unlawful by the 18th Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution. However, the present War on Drugs is also a
good example of the same fallacious mind-set or philosophy. This is
the idea that the government can order, demand or coerce that a
democratically agreed moral thing shall be done, or shall not be done,
as the case may be, and it will be done, or will not be done, period.

It took this country more than 10 years and cost thousands of lives,
numerous cases of blindness and billions of dollars to find out that
the government's power to stop alcohol manufacturing and consumption
ain't necessarily so. People will find more ways than one can shake a
stick at to foil, to by-pass, to smuggle, to evade, to disobey and to
boost enforcement costs of such laws. In other words, we cannot
legislate morality.

Now the government is trying just as unsuccessfully to prevent usage
by grown people of certain drugs, classified as illegal, by whom? By
medical doctors? No. By priests, rabbis or ministers? No.

By lawyers, political hacks and bureaucrats, that's

They have multiplied our prison populations, allowed some people to
suffer who needed some of these drugs to cope with disease, and ruined
the reputations of a myriad of citizens, young and old.

Will it take more than the 14 years between the 18th and 20th
amendments for us to wake up and cut short the war on drugs and admit
that one can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?

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