Pubdate: Mon, 21 Feb 2005
Source: Fort Pierce Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2005 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Thomas Broad


In response to the Feb. 11 letter, "Drug battle unwinnable," in my 
experience, the writer is correct. The "War on Drugs" has long been lost in 
the trenches of enforcement, it is lost in our penal system and our courts 
of law are overburdened. A court-ordered forced treatment program will 
seldom hold for the long run as the old adage, "You can lead a horse to 
water ... "

The drug culture is that of many small-time dealers who are basically a 
close-knit group almost impossible to penetrate. The profit margin is such 
that to attempt to work for a living is laughable to what a dealer can 
earn. The user only needs to steal to feed the daily habit or become a 
small time dealer or "cook up meth." Of course, the results of sharing a 
needle often can become a slow, ugly death with added burden to our 
national health problem.

Our national policy has failed and will continue to do so as long as 
society fails to review and revise the course of action. "Just say no to 
drugs" is a nice motto but a hooked junkie will never heed this message.

One course of revision is government-controlled clinics in where a junkie 
can use, under supervision within the clinic, never to take drugs to the 
streets. This method ensures clean drugs and needles, a layer of prevention 
of added health problems and also the amount of usage would have better 
control. A free clinic will reduce the need to steal as well as the need to 
deal due to loss of the profit incentive.

Other nations have used this approach and the users do hold employment 
albeit not as air traffic controllers. But better to know the user and 
their ability beforehand.

The war is lost and it is proper to revise the plan for a national policy.

Thomas Broad, Fort Pierce
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom