Pubdate: Wed, 23 Feb 2005
Source: Revelstoke Times Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Bowes Publishers
Author: Russell Barth


Rgarding your Feb. 16 editorial, Crystal meth: the poison in our midst:

Although meth is a truly dangerous drug, and people should avoid it, I 
disagree with the statement "tough sentences should always be handed down 
to people who traffic in dangerous drugs."

Prohibition aims to reduce use, abuse, harm, crime, and cost. It not only 
fails to achieve those goals, it actually aggravates the problem. We tried 
hard-lined prohibition with alcohol. That failed. We tried hard-lined 
prohibition with cannabis. That failed. We tried hard lined-prohibition 
with all drugs. That failed.

In fact prohibition is failing so badly, that it is actually fueling the 
problems it is trying to reduce. The term "putting out a fire with 
gasoline" comes to mind.

Meth, coke, heroin, and all drugs should be regulated. "Regulation" doesn't 
mean that people should be allowed to use drugs indiscriminately, or sit 
around getting "tweaked" in "meth bars".... it means we as a society are 
taking a different approach to a real problem, and trying to manage it. 
Distribute through clinics, impose quality controls, and tax any revenue. 
It might seems distasteful to those with more delicate sensibilities, but 
it couldn't possibly be worse than what we have now. Let's face it, if 
prohibition were ever going to work, it would have worked by now.

Russell Barth

Educators For Sensible Drug Policy

Ottawa, Ont. 
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