Pubdate: Fri, 08 Dec 2006
Source: Rutland Herald (VT)
Copyright: 2006 Rutland Herald
Author: Charlie Biederman


Your "Just say no to legalization" editorial which appeared on Dec. 6
is a discouraging reference to Robert Sand, Windsor state's attorney's
article on drug legalization. Sand is opening a discussion on how to
handle a burgeoning drug problem which needs discussion and

Some of the brightest minds of the past century, starting with the
late Milton Friedman, have made a case for legalization and have been
justly critical of the clear lack of success in the war on drugs. Your
editorial says "The damage caused by alcohol and tobacco suggests, not
legalization of drugs but containment of the damage that drugs do." So
far there is little evidence that any containment is working to
accomplish anything but the overloading of our judicial system and the
crowding of our jails and prisons. There is no easy answer, but
discussion and perhaps new legislation is needed. There are numerous
organizations proposing serious changes in our national policies.

Your editorial discourages discussion with its "Just say no" attitude
just when we need to get this problem out in the open. In an era when
illegal drugs can be purchased easily, day and night, in many parts of
this state and the country, let's not stifle discussion. Get on the
Web and look up "drug legalization" and "drug policy" and visit all
the sites. There's a lot going on in studying and thinking and
proposing on this subject. "Just say no" is not a very enlightened
approach to a difficult, complex but solvable problem.

Follow Sand's advice and start talking.

Charlie Biederman

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