Pubdate: Wed, 11 Aug 2004
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2004 Mountain Xpress
Author: Dean Becker


Vice Mayor Carl Mumpower called for a truce with Texans who see dysfunction
in the mechanisms of the drug war [Letters, July 21]. But the vice mayor
tears down the white flag and turns logic on its head with his list of six

Mumpower says all pot smokers are airheads and all hard-drug users are
predators. Carl Sagan, William F. Buckley and Bing Crosby were/are
airheads? Dr. William Stewart Halsted, widely recognized as "the
father of modern surgery" and as one of the four founders of Johns
Hopkins Medical Center, was a "predator" because of his lifelong
addiction to morphine?

We are now in our 90th year of U.S. drug prohibition. When the drug
war began, there were no drug lords, no drug gangs, very few overdoses
and few children using drugs. Drugs are now cheaper, purer and more
available than ever before, yet Mumpower says, "Done right, we ...
decrease the number of dealers by cutting into their

Mumpower also says: "If we don't address the demand, we will never
successfully decrease the supply." We pay billions of dollars to other
countries, pleading that we are helpless to control our consumption,
[so] please stop sending us this stuff. We pay $50 billion per year to
stop the demand in the United States, as well.

The vice mayor states: "Every drug buyer who stops ... becomes one
less person helping to poison a neighborhood ... or otherwise corrupt
our community." Common sense shows that the day we regulate
distribution is the day we stop sending drug profits to bin Laden, we
destroy the drug cartels, we end the reason most street gangs exist,
we take away the job of every street-corner vendor selling drugs to
our kids, we basically eliminate drug-overdose deaths, and we find
ourselves with $50 billion per year to spend on catching criminals who
mean us harm, on education, treatment and jobs training.

Mumpower states: "Holistic interventions without law-enforcement
interventions ... [are] as wasteful and futile as our national drug
policy." That is quite a failure to live down to. Those in power never
seem to grasp that the policy of allowing these drugs to be controlled
by criminals ensures children easy access to drugs. Our "drug war"
scenario is exactly what the drug lords want.

Mumpower then states: "Of great importance to me personally is the
strong potential to save people [from becoming] drug dealers or users
tomorrow." Good for you, Mr. Vice Mayor - wonderful motive, but your
planned tactics are guaranteed to fail, as they have for 89 years.

In closing, Mumpower writes that drug users and dealers [will]
increase their and our misery factor [until] we have to take more
steps to resist the harm." Prohibition ensures easy access to drugs
through the black market. The misery of drug-overdose deaths also
comes from prohibition, which keeps citizens from calling authorities
about potential overdoses. For thousands of years, people all over the
world used drugs with absolutely no laws in place or any of the major
problems of our drug war. It was only with the advent of the U.S.
pharmaceutical houses at the early part of the last century, and their
need to control the supply (and profits) of "legal" drugs, that the
problems you wish to solve began.

Truce? Hell, no! You, sir, are ignorant of the mechanisms of drug war;
inept at fighting for the rights, lives and future of your
constituents; and a pawn of the drug lords, terrorists and criminals
of this earth.

Dean Becker

Houston, Texas
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin