Pubdate: Tue, 22 Feb 2005
Source: Courier-Journal, The (KY)
Copyright: 2005 The Courier-Journal
Note: Only publishes local LTEs
Author: George C. Dick


Katie Collman, the 10-year-old Indiana girl who witnessed a drug operation,
need not have died. Who killed her? Charles Hickman confessed to the crime
and has been charged with murder, but the truth is Katie is a victim of the
war on drugs. Yet . . . we hear more calls to escalate the fight.

What price is our society willing to pay to try to violently interfere with
the mistaken choices of a few? Katie wasn't killed because she saw Hickman
buying beer. Abuse of both alcohol and meth can ruin lives -- the only
difference is one is legal, the other not.

Humans are not perfect, and no law will make them so. It's time to end drug
prohibition, for the same reasons we ended alcohol prohibition. After 30
years, isn't it obvious the war on drugs has failed miserably in reducing
drug use, yet has succeeded spectacularly in wasting billions in public
funds, clogging our court and penal systems, eroding our constitutional
rights and creating a permanent cycle of unnecessary violence?

Katie had no choice about the matter. We do. Let's cut the demagoguery and
try a different approach to the drug problem. Education, not incarceration,
is our best hope.


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