Pubdate: Mon, 31 Mar 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist
Author: John A. Laidlaw


I am saddened by the fear and loathing that surrounds the world of 
drug users. I don't think drugs are a good thing. I do use one of the 
two legal drugs -- alcohol -- in extreme moderation, but I have no 
use for the others.

However, it is clear that the "war on drugs" has not and will not be 
won, because we are fighting the wrong thing. By making criminals of 
users, we have made it very difficult to treat them or assist them in 
any way. We have not been able to stop the dealers -- we simply do 
not have the resources.

How can we best help these people? Legalize these drugs, and sell 
them as alcohol and tobacco are sold -- under restrictions, of 
consistent quality and purity and taxed like mad.

Now, we will have the tax revenue to pay for the medical treatment 
needed, police the system and to assist those who really need help. 
We will also have a most potent tool for controlling the producers 
and their middlemen -- the tax laws. Nailing criminal gangs for taxes 
unpaid is simpler than nailing them for drug-dealing.

John A. Laidlaw

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom