Pubdate: Mon, 24 Mar 2003
Source: Standard Democrat, The (MO)
Copyright: 2003 DA Publishing, LLC
Source: Standard Democrat (MO)
Author: Harold Sloas
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


Your March 18 editorial on the dope problem is a good one. I read your 
editorials regularly.

I agree that the dope problem is out of control. The program we are using 
is not working. Making more and more cages (jails) to house more and more 
people who could be assets in our workforce instead of a drain of our 
assets in courts, police, jails and prisons is killing us financially. What 
to do about it is the question.

We are doing many things to make some attempt to deal with it, but it seems 
that little of it is working. Our financial burden is rapidly growing. It 
should injure our intelligence when our leaders boast of our success in 
getting a new multimillion-dollar prison in our area. Prisoners are 
non-productive, a dead expense.

One way we could attempt to deal with our drug problem (like meth or 
marijuana) is to take the profit out of it. That is to say, legalize it. I 
know this sounds like a rash idea, but so many people are willing to take a 
chance for big and easy money. Therefore, make it legal, like restricted 
drugs at our drug store. Alcohol may be more of a problem than drugs, and 
we find a way to handle that. (Maybe the ones who write our laws like alcohol.)

I know the resistance to legalizing drugs would be great, but what we are 
doing now is not working. Our state is having financial trouble, which 
could get even worse and taxpayers have a load already. Must we go bankrupt 
to make changes we need?

Talking about it doesn't seem to make much difference, but I am in favor of 
continuing to talk about it and perhaps something will demand that 
something be done about it.

Harold Sloas, New Madrid