Pubdate: Thu, 24 Mar 2005
Source: Stamford Advocate, The (CT)
Copyright: 2005 Southern Connecticut Newspaper, Inc.
Author: John Chase
Note: Headline by Newshawk
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


To the editor:

In response to "Study: Use of inhalants on the rise among youth" (Advocate 
news story, March 17):

"Drug" stories like this walk a fine line. While well-intentioned, they 
will move a few citizens to demand that the substance be banned, and when 
banning doesn't work, that it be criminalized. This would be a huge mistake.

Ever wonder why no one pushes airplane glue onto your kids to inhale? No 
profit; it retails at about $1 per ounce at Wal-Mart. But if we take it off 
the shelves, its price will rise; then, if we criminalize it, the price 
will skyrocket and violent entrepreneurs will jump in.

When I was a boy, amphetamine pills sold over-the-counter for pennies. They 
now sell on the street as "meth" for more than $2,000 per ounce, and "meth 
labs" endanger our kids and the environment. We have a meth tiger by the 
tail -- a tiger that never existed until we made it.

Each escalation of the drug war causes more societal damage than it prevents.

Kids need to hear about drugs in a way so low-key that they are not 
attracted by the glitz of danger. Adults need to hear about drugs in a way 
so low-key that they understand that criminalizing the drug will not solve 
the problem.

John Chase

Palm Harbor, Fla. 
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