Pubdate: Mon, 25 Aug 2003
Source: Arizona Republic (AZ)
Copyright: 2003 The Arizona Republic
Author: Robert Carmen Barber Jr.


In an op-ed column printed on Aug. 14, Lou Dobbs offered his full
support for the continuance of the "war on drugs."

I agree with him that drug education, interdiction and criminal
sanctions have cut drug demand and use. But employer drug testing has
probably done more to keep people clean.

Still, one wonders if the goal is worth the price for this drug

Nobody thinks marijuana is addictive, nor particularly dangerous, and
how harshly should we punish somebody to protect him from the evils of
cocaine or heroin use? Isn't drug use punishment enough?

Considering that so many drugs are legally pushed on TV these days for
everything from anxiety to depression to weight loss to shyness - not
to mention coffee and caffeinates and alcohol and cigarettes used to
calm down, relax or hype up people - and considering all the children
forced to use drugs such as Ritalin, the drug war seems to be almost
impossible to understand.

If we set the speed limits at 15 mph and flooded the country with cops
and cameras and radar, we could probably reduce road fatalities, too.
But why would we do that to ourselves?

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves: Why is it so important to reduce
drug use? How high a price are we willing to pay? Those questions
should be part of any debate about the drug war.

Robert Carmen Barber Jr.,

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