Pubdate: Thu, 18 Sep 2003
Source: Salt Lake City Weekly (UT)
Copyright: 2003 Copperfield Publishing
Author: Sandy Cote


Speaking of the war on drugs ["Wars R Us," Sept. 11, City Weekly]: Years 
ago, I began my own war on drugs. Crack was hurting my community, friends 
and, in particular, a loved one. After quite a battle, I found I was 
powerless. I was repeatedly told I couldn't save them, but I couldn't give 
up no matter the toll it was taking. I turned to my government for help. 
Surely, they should have more power than I. They told me they were winning 
"the war on drugs" but, looking at my battle scars, I really couldn't 
believe them.

The government spends hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars on this 
war but have only been successful in creating and paying for a bunch of 
government jobs that wage war on our people. I don't believe this was their 
intention, just the outcome of a long, uphill battle. They, like me, have 
been powerless. I did find that marijuana prohibition greatly interfered 
with their plan to protect us from heroin and cocaine. I believe it to be 
the reason for such defeat.

It's past time we end this unproductive, costly war. The money needs to be 
used on intervention and treatment. We need to shut down the black market 
by legalizing marijuana and allowing hard-drug addicts to obtain their 
drugs through medical facilities with treatment programs. This is not only 
good for the addict, it's good for their family and takes "a bite out of 
crime" in our communities. Or they will get their drugs by any means, 
without treatment, the black market will continue to prosper and we all pay 
the price.

My newfound favorite quote by Chief Joseph: "I am tired of fighting, our 
chiefs are all killed, the little children are freezing to death. I want to 
have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. 
Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me my chiefs. I am tired. My 
heart is sick and sad and from where the sun now stands, I will fight no 
more, forever."

Sandy Cote

Toledo, Ohio
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