Pubdate: Wed, 07 Jan 2004
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Copyright: 2004 Rockford Register Star
Author:  Kirk Muse


I'm writing about Ed Wells' thoughtful column: "Deal with drug habits
that ruin families, society" (Monday). I'd like to add that almost all
of the problems our country and our society have with illegal drugs
are because certain (politically selected) drugs are illegal.

Because certain drugs are illegal, they are of unknown quality,
unknown purity and unknown potency.

Because drugs are illegal, they are untaxed, unregulated and
controlled by criminal gangs - just like alcohol was when it was illegal.

When all types of recreational drugs were legally available in local
pharmacies for pennies per dose, drug dealers as we know them today
didn't exist Neither did drug lords or drug cartels or the term
"drug-related crime."

These were all created by our drug criminalization policies- not

Are recreational drugs harmful? Certainly some are Illegal drugs loll
about 15,000 Americans every year. But this pales in comparison to the
400,000 who die from tobacco products or the 300,000 who die from
obesity or the 100,000 who die from alcohol abuse.

When Alcohol Prohibition ended in 1933, organized criminals got out of
the alcohol business for economic reasons and our murder rate declined
for 10 consecutive years, Have we learned any lessons? Not yet.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz., former Rockford and Freeport resident
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