Pubdate: Wed, 8 Jan 2003
Source: Oakland Tribune, The (CA)
Copyright: 2003 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Author: Gerald Sutliff


Dear Editor,

Thank you for publishing the excellent letter arguing that decriminalizing 
of drugs is an overlooked but obvious step of getting a handle on street 
Oakland's street violence.

The Tribune's editorial history on the drug issue is light years ahead of 
most other newspapers.  Still I often wish you would grant more space to 
the complexities of the issue.

To what extent do the governmental bureaucracies contribute to the 
continuing funding of  War on Drugs?  How does the War on Drugs actually 
serve to contribute rather than deter drug use among the young?  Why is 
that even though white middle class young men are the primary end use 
customers of the curb side retailers is it that the latter get all the 
blame and  most of jail time?

One of Oakland's oldest and most successful business had (and maybe still 
does) the business motto, "Find a need and fill it."  How is that different 
from the activities of drug traffickers?

Gerald M. Sutliff

Oakland, CA
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