Pubdate: Sat, 05 Feb 2005
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Duncan News Leader
Author: Russell Barth


Dear editor,

RE: It doesn't cost much to get high (Jan. 29).

Prohibition is a system which subsidizes organized crime and makes all drugs
easier for kids to access than tobacco or alcohol. The more "illegal" we
make something, the bigger the problem gets, and the more lucrative it is
for the people involved. The aim of prohibition is to reduce use, abuse,
harm, crime, and cost. It not only fails to achieve these goals, it actually
makes things worse. Regulation would do much more to fulfill this mandate,
but our lazy and inept government refuses to consider it. It is insane to
keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

This story is just more solid evidence that our current policies about kids
and drugs are not only ineffective, they are absurd. Our society has made
drugs more popular by giving them a glamorous taboo. We bombard kids with
messages that drugs are not only "bad" but that users are "sick" or even
"evil". Nothing attracts kids like forbidden fruit, and the fact that drug
use has almost doubled in the past decade is proof of that our old ideas
have failed. "Just Say No" was a joke in the 1980s when I was a teen, and it
is even a bigger joke now.

"Do as we say, not as we do" is the message we have been sending kids, and
they see right through this hypocrisy. What is needed now is a new approach
to drug information without all the "zero-tolerance", we/they, crime and
punishment mentality that has been employed by "Just Say No" propagandist
programs like D.A.R.E.

Russell Barth,

- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh