Pubdate: Tue, 23 May 2006
Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Copyright: 2006 San Antonio Express-News
Author: Jerry Epstein


Some who read Bob Owens' obituary will be surprised that a longtime,
often-honored police chief strongly opposed the drug war and wanted
drugs to be regulated ("Retired law officer Owens spoke out against
drug war," Wednesday).

Bob in no way condoned drug abuse, but he knew from long experience
that police couldn't even reduce the problem and that prohibition
first created and then funded our worst enemies, the drug cartels.

He believed that, in the long run, crushing their financial power was
the road to safer communities, better protection for the young and
more effective police. It would also allow the public health community
to deal with drug abuse openly, free of the fear that now hinders
research, early intervention and an honest doctor-patient

It's a shame that Bob and his many allies with Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition do not have an easy way to explain this in detail to the

It would be a fitting tribute if we were to have a national commission
on drug policy give the public better information and rational choices
about a complex and difficult problem that concerns all of us. In the
interim, Bob's friends at LEAP ( will speak with any group.

Jerry Epstein, co-founder,

Drug Policy Forum of Texas,

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