Pubdate: Wed, 08 Jan 2003
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2003, The Racine Journal Times
Author: George Meyers


The recent rave party citations exhibit more of the insanity of the war on 
drugs. When I go shopping in a large department store there is a very good 
chance that somebody there will be shoplifting. Retail theft losses total 
$32 billion a year. The single largest category of larceny in the United 
States is the crime that occurs in retail stores. This figure is larger 
than motor vehicle theft, bank robbery and household burglary combined.

So must I be avoiding retail stores? And if I do go and spend my money 
there anyway knowing full well that such illegal activity occurs there, and 
the police arrest someone for shoplifting while I'm there, does that mean 
that I and all the other customers in the store at the time should also be 
cited for theft or at least disorderly conduct?

Of course not. But if we used the rationale the police did for the rave 
citations, that is exactly what would happen. We know the difference in 
cases of theft, but when it comes to drugs, we have lost it. Our minds have 
gone on vacation for the duration.

We are spending $25 billion a year on this war on drugs and what has it 
gotten us? Loss of our sensibilities. Stupidity. When it comes to civil 
rights and drugs, as a society we have gone as brain dead as the people 
using those substances whom we are trying to save.

With some relief I read that most of those kids are pleading not guilty. At 
least someone around here can distinguish right from wrong.

George Meyers

Programs Chairman, Libertarian Party
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