Pubdate: Fri, 05 Mar 2004
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2004 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Alan M. Perlman


Your prohibitionist Feb. 27 editorial "TV, the Anti-Drug" contradicts
the point you're making: It has been education via TV and not
prohibition that reduced drug use.

You also say "proponents of legalization like to claim that drug use
is an intractable problem, so we might as well learn to live with it."
This is straw-man reasoning -- no rational proponent of legalization
maintains such a thing. On the contrary, we have a host of
alternatives to reduce harm, protect children, treat abuse and foster
personal responsibility. Such alternatives are so much better than
prohibition's awful consequences -- diversion of law-enforcement
resources from terrorism and other violent crimes; overcrowding of
courts and prisons (with violent criminals released to make room for
drug offenders); corruption of law enforcement officers and agencies;
criminalization of consensual behavior, and personal responsibility;
and a frightening escalation of crime and violence.

There is also the trampling of constitutional rights via such insults
to liberty as asset forfeiture (seizing property on mere suspicion of
a crime); threats to free speech (such as the government's threat to
arrest any doctor who even mentioned medical marijuana to a patient);
and gross violations of privacy, including the very kind of
"unwarranted search and seizure" tactics (e.g., breaking down doors
and entering violently without warning or evidence of a crime) that
drove our Founders to revolution.

Alan M. Perlman

Highland Park, Ill.
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