Pubdate: Sat,  6 Dec 2003
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2003 Detroit Free Press
Author:  Greg Francisco, Educators of Sensible Drug Policies, Paw Paw


The police officer who wrote the Nov. 30 letter "Narcotic cases" attempted 
to defend the indefensible: a never ending war on some politically selected 
drugs. He is technically correct that few drug offenders in Michigan are 
sentenced to prison for simple possession of drugs. That's because the 
overwhelming majority are warehoused in local lock-ups.

Year in, year out, tens of thousands of Michigan citizens are arrested for 
simple possession of marijuana. Every one of those arrests will cost 
taxpayers thousands of dollars through lost hours of police time, clogged 
court dockets and overcrowded county and city jails as the arrestees await 
trial. Michigan's version of the drug war is costing tens of millions of 
dollars and yielding zero net results.

The officer stated that drugs have been directly linked to violent criminal 
behavior, to most crimes of theft, and to the destruction of many families. 
Yet even the most cursory review of police blotters reveals that alcohol 
far and away drives more crime than all illicit drugs put together. And the 
deleterious effects on families of alcohol abuse have been known for 
centuries. So why don't we go back to alcohol prohibition? Maybe because we 
tried it and it didn't work.

I understand that continuing the Drug War Inc. is in the police officer's 
economic self-interest. Does he understand that replacing it with sane and 
workable polices is in the economic interest of the rest of us?

Greg Francisco,

  Educators of Sensible Drug Policies, Paw Paw
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