Pubdate: Mon, 05 May 2003
Source: State Journal-Register (IL)
Copyright: 2003 The State Journal-Register
Author: Larry A. Stevens


Dear Editor,

After generations of drug prohibition and thirty years of waging a war
on drugs and all the promises of a drug-free America, it's fair to ask
why we now face new drug problems like home meth labs which were
unknown and unheard of before prohibition or the war on drugs.

Homemade methamphetamine is the bathtub gin of drug prohibition.  The
main precursor for meth is drug prohibition itself.  Prohibition turns
a manageable problem like drug addiction into a host of unmanageable
problems like exploding kitchens and exploding prison populations. It
does this by introducing artificial risk into the market (the risk of
arrest and imprisonment) which creates enormous profitibility for
anybody willing to take the dare. What is billed as a strong deterrent
actually creates an powerful incentive.

Take out one meth lab and many more will spring up to replace it,
primarily because the addicts who were supplied by the original lab
can easily start their own.  Many of these addicts would seek
treatment if cooking meth wasn't the easier option, but treatment is a
commodity that we have made too scarce.

Getting tough on drugs got us into this in the first place; cracking
down on meth will only make the problem last longer than it would
otherwise.  Treatment is the key to lessening the impact of meth.

Larry A. Stevens

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