Pubdate: Thu, 17 Jul 2008
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2008 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your thoughtful July 15 editorial ("Drug war and drug use
stats don't connect"), the drug war has done little other than turn
the land of the free into the world's biggest jailer. If harsh
penalties deterred illegal drug use, the elusive goal of a "drug-
free" America would have been achieved decades ago. Ironically, the
U.S. has higher rates of illicit drug use than the many European
countries that have decriminalized drug use. Instead of adding to what
is already the highest incarceration rate in the world, we should be
funding cost-effective drug treatment.

The drug war is a cure worse than the disease. Drug prohibition
finances organized crime at home and terrorism abroad, which is then
used to justify increased drug war spending. It's time to end this
madness. Thanks to public education, tobacco use has declined
considerably in recent years.

Apparently mandatory minimum sentences, civil asset forfeiture,
random drug testing and racial profiling are not the most effective
ways to discourage unhealthy choices. Drug abuse is bad, but the drug
war is worse.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake