Pubdate: Sun, 02 Mar 2003
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Times Colonist
Author: Elizabeth Woods


Re: "Downtown cleanup drives addicts, violence elsewhere," Feb. 27.

Did any reasonably intelligent person expect a different outcome? We have 
been trying this stupid, futile approach for more than 60 years, succeeding 
only in propping up the profits of criminal gangs, while police forces and 
police powers grow ever more menacing, and less helpful.

Criminal sanctions are inappropriate for addressing medical/social problems.

The only way to deal effectively with drug abuse is to legalize and 
regulate all recreational drugs.

This would do more damage to organized crime (by eliminating their markets) 
for less money, and more permanently, than any number of arrests.

The hundreds of millions of tax dollars squandered yearly on enforcement 
could then be spent on education, treatment, and more useful police work 
such as nabbing thieves, murderers, and drunk drivers.

The government is not our parent. Its proper role is not to protect us from 
ourselves, nor to persecute addicts, but to ensure that adults can use the 
recreational drugs of their choice in a peaceful and orderly fashion. Then, 
and only then, will drug dealing and used needles disappear from Victoria's 

Elizabeth Woods,

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