Pubdate: Wed, 17 Mar 2004
Source: Revelstoke Times Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Bowes Publishers
Author: Alan Randell
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Re Students accept the DARE challenge, as published in the March 3 issue of
The Times Review.

The issue is not so much that children must be aware of the dangers of drugs
and alcohol, no argument there, but why those who ingest or sell certain
drugs are considered criminals, which is ridiculous. A police officer is the
last person who should be talking to the kids about drugs.

I suspect the police do not attempt to indoctrinate kids older than Grade 6
or so because older kids might ask tough questions like these about the law:

1. Why are you presenting the program and not someone who really knows about
drugs, such as a user or physician?

2. If drugs are banned because they are harmful to users, why, then, are
tobacco and alcohol not banned? Doesn't this seem unfair to those who prefer
illegal drugs? If we ban one harmful drug, shouldn't we ban all harmful

3. Is it not true that, far from protecting users from harm, banning a drug
harms them much more than would otherwise be the case because it cuts them
off from access to drugs of known potency and purity? Weren't thousands of
Americans poisoned or blinded by adulterated alcohol during Prohibition.
Didn't the problems vanish when alcohol was legalized again?

4. Wasn't drug prohibition initiated a century ago as a racist program to
oppress certain non-white minorities (and to protect virtuous, white,
Christian women from their seductive wiles) by banning the drugs used by
those minorities?

5. The 1973 Le Dain Commission concluded, "There appears to be little
permanent physiological damage from chronic use of pure opiate narcotics."
Why, then, ban heroin?

6. If prohibition is so great, why did America give up on the prohibition of

7. Is it not true that if drugs and prostitution were legalized, the power
of the Hells Angels would be severely curtailed? After all, Prohibition
created Al Capone, not the other way around.

8. Is it not true that if marijuana were legalized, marijuana grow
operations would be no more dangerous, do no more damage and steal no more
hydro than the average tomato grow operation?

For me, there is no more reason to punish drug users and dealers today than
there was in the past to hang witches, lynch blacks, incarcerate
Japanese-Canadians or gas Jews.

Alan Randell 

Victoria, B.C.
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