Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 2010
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Chico Enterprise-Record
Author: Garry Cooper


The recent debate in this paper concerning marijuana is a classic
lesson in "not seeing the forest for all the trees."

Instead of focusing on marijuana, we need to assess the
ineffectiveness of the drug war that has been waged for 60 years and
what approach is needed to effectively accomplish our desired outcome
in this matter.

We need kids to stay off drugs, we need to take the profit out of
drugs sold on the streets that fuel gangs, we need to reduce AIDS from
needle sharing, we need to recognize meth as our number one drug
problem, and we need to realize that there is a massive bureaucracy in
place that exists to facilitate the obsolete and counterproductive
drug war that must be dismantled.

We need to greatly expand after-school sports and social activities
and enhance penalties for adults selling drugs to kids. We need safe
and readily available access to drugs for those that desire to use
them along with good information as to what they are doing to their
bodies and access to treatment for those that want to quit. We need to
pass out clean needles to addicts, and we need to attack
methamphetamine with a full frontal assault on the dealers and force
treatment on the addicts in jail.

We need to refocus our scarce resources productively to truly address
the core issues in our failed drug policy while keeping at heart the
good of our children, our society, and our budget.

Garry Cooper, Durham
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