Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jan 2004
Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Copyright: 2004 Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation
Author: Lori Curione
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


In response to James Zirin's Dec. 29 article, "Anti-drug policy must target 

Man has searched for cures for all kinds of ills throughout time. Drugs 
have also been used in religious ceremonies, as well. As long as there are 
ills -- mental, physical and psychological -- we are going to demand drugs, 
and not just the legal kind.

Until we legalize drugs, we cannot take away the stigma of addiction. Not 
all addicts are what the majority of society thinks they are. Many lead 
very productive, although very hard, lives. One of the difficulties of the 
latter is the secrecy needed to hide your addiction because of the stigma. 
This alone stops the addict from getting the help needed to quit, even 
though that is what he or she desires.

Only through legalization can you target the population through ads. 
Addiction needs to be talked about.

The campaign to get people to quit smoking has been working quite well, 
even before abolishing smoking in bars. If drugs were legalized and the 
stigma taken away, there would be a greater chance of success in curbing 

Lori Curione, Watervliet