Pubdate: Fri, 17 Aug 2007
Source: Taos Daily Horse Fly (NM)
Copyright: 2007 Horse Fly
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Monthly newspaper


Dear Editor,

Veteran police officer Michael Jones of Law Enforcement Against 
Prohibition (LEAP) is to be commended for boldly speaking out against 
the war on drugs. 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.

With alcohol prohibition repealed, liquor bootleggers no longer gun 
each other down in drive-by shootings, nor do consumers go blind 
drinking unregulated bathtub gin. While U.S. politicians ignore the 
drug war's historical precedent, European countries are embracing 
harm reduction, a public health alternative based on the principle 
that both drug abuse and prohibition have the potential to cause harm.

Examples of harm reduction include needle exchange programs to stop 
the spread of HIV, marijuana regulation aimed at separating the hard 
and soft drug markets, and treatment alternatives that do not require 
incarceration as a prerequisite. Unfortunately, fear of appearing 
"soft on crime" compels many U.S. politicians to support a failed 
drug war that ultimately subsidizes organized crime. Drug abuse is 
bad, but the drug war is worse.


Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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