Pubdate: Mon, 20 Sep 2004
Source: Gainesville Sun, The (FL)
Copyright: 2004 The Gainesville Sun
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Kinloch Walpole's Sept. 12th Speaking Out: if harsh penalties 
served to deter drug use, the elusive goal of a "drug-free" America would 
have been achieved decades ago.

Instead of adding to what is already the highest incarceration rate in
the world, we should be funding cost-effective drug treatment. Drug
prohibition finances organized crime at home and terrorism abroad,
which is then used to justify increased drug war spending.

It's time to end this madness and instead treat all substance abuse,
legal or otherwise, as the public health problem it is. It's worth
noting that tobacco use has declined considerably in recent years.
Public education efforts are paying off.

Apparently mandatory minimum sentences, civil asset forfeiture, random
drug testing and racial profiling are not necessarily the most
cost-effective means of discouraging unhealthy choices.

Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy,, Washington, D.C. 
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