Pubdate: Thu, 03 Nov 2005
Source: Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC)
Copyright: 2005 The Herald-Sun
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your Oct. 26 editorial, if arrests and criminal convictions 
deterred illegal drug use, the 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 
drug treatment. The drug war is a cure that is worse than the 
disease. 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. Thanks to public education efforts, tobacco use has declined 
considerably in recent years. Apparently mandatory minimum prison 
sentences, civil asset forfeiture, random drug testing and racial 
profiling are not necessarily the most cost-effective means of 
discouraging unhealthy choices. Drug abuse is bad, but the drug war is worse.


Washington, D.C.

November 3, 2005

Editor's note: The writer is a policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy.
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