Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 2004
Source: Sentinel Review (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
Author: David Lane


Re: Drug busts send the right message (editorial, Feb. 10).

The editorial is lacking logic and intelligence. The editorial assumes that 
by busting street level drug dealers, somehow property crime is going to go 
down and fewer young people will have access to drugs.

Neither of these outcomes are likely.

What is likely to happen is there will be a temporary spike in the price 
for illegal drugs, which will cause an increase in property crimes as 
addicts will need more money to buy their drugs. Of course market forces 
will quickly fill the gap, so any disruption in supply lines will be 
temporary, but the cost to taxpayers to put those arrested through the 
criminal justice system will go on for years.

European countries that have instituted harm reduction policies, including 
providing pure low cost drugs to addicts, have had much better results in 
lowering property crime and getting addicts in contact with medical and 
rehabilitation services. The information and solutions are out there, but 
you have to be willing to look for them and to not assume you already know 
the answer.

What is it called when you do the same thing over and over and expect 
different results? Insanity.

David Lane

- - Santa Cruz, Calif.
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