Pubdate: Tue, 10 Oct 2006
Source: Gainesville Sun, The (FL)
Copyright: 2006 The Gainesville Sun
Author: Seymour S. Block


Recent news reports told of a house in Florida that was gutted and 
filled with marijuana plants. This venture was so profitable to the 
drug gang that ran it that they gave the illegal immigrant who took 
care of the plants free room and board and told him after three years 
he could keep the house.

Another recent story was about a remote part of a state park in 
Washington that was secretly deforested and planted in marijuana by 
Mexican drug lords and farmed by armed illegal immigrants.

These are just some recent incidents. We know of the situation in 
Colombia where the drug operators actually threaten the government; 
not to mention Afghanistan, where the opium poppies support the Taliban.

I remember Prohibition, which spawned thugs like Al Capone, whose 
syndicate spread from liquor to gambling and all sorts of crime and 
corruption. With drugs today it's the same, only big time and 
international. We are the cause. We are the high price market for 
these illicit products.

Money is said to be the root of all evil, and it is true for drugs as 
well. If drugs weren't illegal, the price would fall though the floor 
and there would be no incentive for criminals to trade in them.

Addiction is a very serious problem and must be confronted. But 
consider tobacco. Tobacco, we know to be more hazardous to our health 
than marijuana, yet tobacco is legal and marijuana is not. Compare 
this effect on the price of each. No one is gutting houses or 
deforesting parks to grow tobacco.

Illicit drugs deserve our serious attention and study, but just as we 
are treating the problems of alcohol and tobacco, let drugs also come 
out of the closet.

Seymour S. Block

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