Pubdate: Tue, 15 Apr 2008
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2008 The Arizona Republic
Author: Dan McIlroy


The war on drugs has been going on for more than 50 years. It has cost
billions of dollars. Our jails and prisons are overcrowded. It is fair
to say that it has not been successful.

If we were to decriminalize or repeal our drug laws, and have the
government regulate, tax and control them, this would assure purity of
the product and take the profit out of illegal drug trafficking. That
would also remove the criminal element. It has worked with alcohol,
which is regulated, taxed and controlled. It would also take the
mystique out of using illegal drugs.

Granted, there is a risk for our society in allowing the lawful use of
cocaine, heroin, marijuana, hashish, crack cocaine, opium and
methamphetamines, which may lead to addiction, dependency and abuse.
But these problems exist even though these drugs are illegal.

In a free society, people should be allowed to become obese, smoke
tobacco, drink alcohol and use drugs even if that could lead to
self-destruction and death.

In case you may think I have a hidden agenda, I neither smoke nor
drink alcohol, and I have never used illegal drugs.

Dan McIlroy, Sedona
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