Pubdate: 26 Jul 2003
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2003 Chicago Tribune Company
Author: Matthew Moran
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Homewood -- The Chicago Tribune has now published a second column by Carol 
Marin about the "heroin epidemic" in Chicago. She admits that most heroin 
users are often employed. These people are our neighbors, who lead 
productive lives and make valuable contributions to society. They just also 
happen to use heroin. The real problem is not that people use heroin but 
that using heroin is illegal. Prohibition turns otherwise productive 
members of society into criminals who risk their lives buying heroin of 
uncertain quality on a dangerous and violent black market.

We prohibit heroin (and other recreational drugs) in order to prevent a 
small health problem. As Marin admits, most heroin users are able to 
function normally enough that their neighbors don't guess that they use heroin.

Does Marin really believe that heroin is more dangerous than nicotine or 

But not only do we fail to prevent the small health problem of heroin use, 
we create much larger social problems. We maintain a huge portion of our 
population in prison, mostly because of the war on drugs. Street gangs, a 
plague on our cities, wouldn't be nearly so prevalent if they couldn't make 
money selling illegal drugs. And our government wastes billions of dollars 
in a quixotic quest to prevent drug use.

I wonder if Marin will have the courage to point this out in a future column?

Matthew Moran
- ---
MAP posted-by: Thunder