Pubdate: Mon, 06 Oct 2003
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2003 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Author: Andy Paredes
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Note: To read about the "ice epidemic" in Hawaii, go to .


People will do whatever they want to do. Our job as citizens is to ensure that
we do what we have to have a safer and more humane society, or community. But
at the same time, we can't go over the state budget. Presently we are failing
to do both. Some simple facts:

Higher demand equals higher cost. Lower supply equals higher prices.

The higher the risk of selling drugs, the higher the price will be. The higher
the price of drugs, the higher the crime rate. The higher the cost of drugs,
the more desperate and violent the crimes addicts commit to get drugs. Any
problem is solved by finding what is causing the "problem." Drug dealers will
not exist if there is no money to be made. Addicts and drug dealers cannot
exist without each other. They are one and the same.

Drugs are cheap to make (even high-quality drugs) and only cost more because of
the risks involved in getting them to the user.

So the answer is simple: Stop the users and addicts from committing crimes and
eliminate the profits of drug dealing. How? Isn't it so simple? As simple as an
addict who gets better by stopping drug intake. Here's how:

What every community in Hawai'i needs is a "community drug house" run by the
state. Drugs would be given out free to those who want to get high. They would
need to stay at the facility until a state doctor says the community is "safe"
with the user on the street.

It is that simple. This is already being done in many countries in Europe with
incredibly positive results.

The drug dealers would no longer have any profits, making drug dealing
senseless. Drug dealing would no longer be an option for Hawai'i's people to
make money. Drugs would be made by the very competent students of the
University of Hawai'i. Hawai'i would save billions. Crime would go down by at
least 70 percent. Many, many, many innocent people would be spared.

Imprisoning all dealers or treating all those needing treatment is not
realistic and will never be feasible.

We need to think clearly, act humanely, and not make any decision (new laws)
while we are angry, as we are now. Rightfully so, by the way. But we should not
be angry at the dealer or the user or even the hopeless addicts. We need to get
angry at ourselves. We are all products of our communities. How could we do
this to ourselves?

Give the addict what he wants. Make it silly to sell drugs. And most
importantly, bring back the Hawai'i we all want. The Hawai'i where we help
strangers. Let us not start to divide aloha by blaming others for the problems
we all have. We are all to blame.

Andy Paredes

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