Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jun 2003
Source: Big Sandy News, The (KY)
Copyright: 2003 The Big Sandy News
Author: Charles Byrnes



Everyone has a stake in ending the war on drugs. Whether you are a parent
concerned about protecting children from drug-related harm, a social justice
advocate worried about racially disproportionate incarceration rates, an
environmentalist seeking to protect the Amazon rainforest or a fiscally
conservative taxpayer, you have a stake in ending the drug war.

U.S. federal, state and local governments have spent hundreds of billions of
dollars trying to make America "drug-free." Yet heroin, cocaine,
methamphetamine and other illicit drugs are cheaper, purer and easier to get
than ever before.

Nearly half a million people are behind bars on drug charges - more than all
of western Europe (with a bigger population) incarcerates for all offenses.
The war on drugs has become a war on families, a war on public health and a
war on our constitutional rights.

Many of the problems the drug war purports to resolve are in fact caused by
the drug war itself. So-called "drug-related" crime is a direct result of
drug prohibition's distortion of immutable laws of supply and demand. Public
health problems like HIV and Hepatitis C are all exacerbated by zero
tolerance laws that restrict access to clean needles. The drug war is not
the promoter of family values that some would have us believe. Children of
inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction and

Drug abuse is bad, but the drug war is worse.

Charles Byrnes
Vice President
Kentucky Marijuana Party
Taylor Mill
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