Pubdate: Tue, 15 May 2007
Source: Oroville Mercury-Register (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Oroville Mercury Register
Author: Kirk Muse
Note: Title by Newshawk
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Dear Editor:

Thanks for publishing David White's outstanding op-ed: "The 
un-winnable war" (5-12-07).

I'd like to add that for most of our nation's history we had no 
"drug-related crime."

For most of our nation's history drug lords, drug cartels and even 
drug dealers as we know them today, didn't exist either. That's 
because for most of our nation's history there were no illegal drugs.

Until 1915, a year after the U. S. Congress passed the Harrison 
Narcotics Act of 1914, adult U. S. citizens could legally purchase 
opium, heroin, morphine, cocaine, or marijuana at just about any 
pharmacy or grocery store in the country for pennies per dose with no 
questions asked of the buyers. Did we have a lot more drug addicts 
back then as compared to today? No.

According to U. S. district judge John L. Kane of Colorado, we had 
about 1.3 percent of our citizens addicted to drugs in 1914. We also 
had about 1.3 percent of our citizens addicted to drugs in 1970, the 
year before President Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs.

And today, after more than 90 years of drug prohibition policies--we 
still have about 1.3 percent of our citizens addicted to drugs.

In other words, the money we have spent attempting to become a 
"drug-free society" has been completely wasted. Prohibition doesn't work.

Prohibition didn't work for the drug alcohol and it's not working for 
any drugs today except to provide for full employment for those doing 
the prohibiting.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, AZ 85209
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