Pubdate: Sat, 04 Aug 2007
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2007 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Author: Robert Sharpe


Does moving open-air drug markets from one Manatee County 
neighborhood to the next constitute a drug war victory? Attempts to 
limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only 
increase the profitability of drug trafficking. For addictive drugs 
like heroin, a spike in street prices leads desperate addicts to 
increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits.

The drug war doesn't fight crime; it fuels crime.

Drug policy should focus not on the Sisyphean task of eliminating 
drugs, but rather on reducing the death, disease, crime and suffering 
associated with both drug abuse and enforcement.

Drug prohibition finances organized crime at home and terrorism 
abroad, which are then used to justify increased drug war spending. 
It is time to end this madness and instead treat all substance abuse, 
legal or otherwise, as the public health problem it is.

Robert Sharpe

The writer is policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy, a 
nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.
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