Pubdate: Sun, 17 Jan 2010
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2010 The Dallas Morning News, Inc.
Author: Gary Funderburk


It is obvious from Mark Pothier's essay that drug policy is merely a
political football, one which is constantly fumbled.

When does a drug user harm society? When he robs for his habit, kills
for his habit or injures another while satisfying his habit. When he
drives up costs of incarceration with poor physical and dental health
that society must pay to treat.

When does the dealer harm society? When he wars with his competition
and with law enforcement. When he pressures customers to use more
powerful, more dangerous drugs.

When do governments and politicians harm society? When their drug
policies make criminals out of victims, users who must rob to support
their habits. When they create a multi-billion-dollar market for
dealers willing to operate outside the law.

Governments incarcerate users instead of treating addiction.
Governments create drug cartels and cannot stop them. When they fail
to learn from history; from the Volstead Act, the failed "war on
drugs" and instead play on public fears and poor science in the
never-ending search to stay in power, while hypocritically clinking
glasses of Scotch.

Gary Funderburk, Dallas
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